You’ve never seen me having so much fun as when I’m out of the country, speaking another language, or weaving through streets I’ve never seen before. And if it’s a warm summer night with the stars like neon against a velvety indigo sky, all the better.
There’s just something about exploring an old city on foot, imagining the centuries of sandals that have walked the same path before me. Or walking into a bakery and ordering a flaky pastry in Spanish–and sitting down to eat it with the locals. Or walking the beach at sunrise and stooping to examine the smooth, pink underbellies of shells given up by the ocean after high tide.
Enjoying the beauty and adventure of a physical space, however, says nothing of the personal growth, intimate times of rich conversation with friends and family, or the wealth of knowledge you absorb from inserting yourself into another place or culture. Whether you travel within your own state or live to fill up another passport, I can’t emphasize enough the value of travel.
Prompted by Jeff Goins’ masterful post entitled “3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young,” I thought I’d list my TOP 10 favorite travel memories and ask you to leave a comment with your own top 10. I purposefully left out the wonderful, languid nights around a fire reminiscing with college friends because they’re almost too personal to explain their worth. Instead, I focused on experiences with the destination. In no particular order:
TOP TEN TRAVEL MEMORIES:
- Swimming with sharks in the Bahamas. Uhhh, NO. I wouldn’t do it again, but it’s a fun memory!
- Snorkeling off the stunning coast of Cozumel. Wow. Loved it. Scared me a little, but I loved it.
- Riding a train up to Machu Picchu; it felt like being on top of the world.
- Seeing giraffes and zebras in Africa–not in a zoo.
- Hearing my shoes echo in Westminster Abbey, London.
- Winning 2nd place in a sidewalk chalk contest in Washington. [what a fluke!]
- Feeling a wild manatee brush against my legs off the coast of Florida.
- Witnessing the start of the Occupy Wall Street Protest, NYC.
- Going to sleep under the sun in the back country of Grand Tetons Nat’l Park, and waking up to a foot of snow…and falling…
- Wading icy tide pools at dawn with our kids at Cannon Beach, OR, and seeing secrets revealed while the rest of the world slept.