Covent Garden

Travel Changes Us

Covent GardenIn the spirit of trying new things, today I am leaving on an 8 week trip, some of it solo and some of it with friends, and some of it with family. But I have never been away for that long at a time. I am nervous and excited all at the same time.

I have left the return date open…I have not booked my flight home yet as if I start wishing to be home, I want to be able to book the flight and come home. Besides this possible homesickness, there is a long list of things about this trip that pull at my feelings. I wrote on another blog post http://www.kellymacdonald.org/the-freedom-to-travel/ about my push and pull around the reality of travel.

After several longer trips this year, I am vaguely familiar with the angst that I experience before I travel. Saying goodbye is really hard and leaving my loved ones behind is hard. And then I get to the airport and I start to look forward into the future and I can see the adventure that I have ahead of me.  No more conflicting feelings, just the excitement for what is ahead.

The angst passes and the adventure begins.

“You can’t discover new oceans unless you have the courage to leave the shore.”

That is me…every time that I go in a new direction. I hold on to what is most comfortable and easy. I resist new experiences despite my desire for them.

But my sense of adventure overtakes that need for safety and I let go. So I can experience all the things that this wonderful life has to offer. And after, I can always return to my safe place.

When I jump into the abyss and  take the adventure, I return a changed person for having experienced that adventure.

Altered inside by the things that I see and do and the people I meet.

I return more confident of my own ability to thrive in new environments.

More able to handle whatever life sends my way.

And more in touch with the world as one world with many wonderful people who are just trying to do their thing.

Having a safe place is a beautiful thing, but leaving it so you can touch the stars is also beautiful.

So sometimes putting a label on the angst is all that is needed to dissipate it.

A label that describes it and puts it into a manageable package.

So there is nothing easy about taking the adventure. But it is worth it.

I am in England tonight and it is a beautiful evening and my story has begun.

What might you be missing out on by staying in your safe place?

17 Comments

  1. Bon Voyage Kelly! Have a wonderful trip. We can WAIT to hear about all the new things you’re going to try on this on. ~Kathy

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much Kathy. It is an adventure. I am doing new things almost every minute of the journey so far. It is interesting how alive I feel when I am on an adventure. Not sure what that says about me. :)

  2. Danielle says:

    Here’s to a great adventure. You are right, travel does change you. Looking forward to the better you when you return.

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks Danielle …not sure if the changes seem apparent to anyone else but I do feel different after I go on a longer journey. Thanks for coming by.

  3. PCgal says:

    Kelly, I hope you will make a blog post as often as you can. Can’t wait for your journey to unfold. England – what a great place to begin.

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you PCGal . I will certainly keep you posted. I tend to stay away from destination descriptions and rather choose to reflect on the impact of those places. I hope that works for you.

  4. DJan says:

    Congratulations on taking such a big leap into adventure! I do hope you can write now and then about how it’s going. :-)

  5. Tamara Reddy says:

    Yes, absolutely, travel changes us. Oftentimes it forces us to re-examine what we ‘knew’ to be true prior to actually being someplace, and meeting the people, in person. As Mark Twain so aptly penned, “”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.”

    I suspect you will adore Chiang Mai, though some of what you see with regard to wildlife handing may trouble you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you arrive.

    • Kelly says:

      Tamara I love that quote. Thank you for sharing it. I shared it with my boys too. I am always encouraging them to gain some experience away, wherever that is to them.

      I will keep you posted on Chiang Mai. :)

  6. PCgal says:

    Kelly, I love that your perspective will be from the human element and not the blow by blow account of what you are “seeing.” I wish you many wonderful experiences. BTW, I am Suzanne at Life Out Loud. Maybe because I am now at WordPress I am popping up as PC Gal, which I created for another Blog. ??? Anyway, just wanted you to know who is stalking you. LOL good travels.

  7. MW says:

    Hope you are having a great time! Can’t wait to read about your experiences and observations.

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks for your kind words…it is already turning out to be quite an adventure. And although I thought 6-8 weeks away might be a longer trip than I could do, two weeks have passed so quickly and it is still amazing. I will keep you posted!

  8. Kelly… wishing you an amazing adventure and safe travels. The world awaits you! Love that Mark Twain quote too!

    • Thanks for coming by my blog Maureen! The world awaits….what an exciting concept. Even as I am away, home calls and Southampton sounds delicious! I am not in a rush….just thinking sweet thoughts of home when I hear from you!

  9. Kelly, I have spent so much time reading your writing and I can hear your voice saying the words and how you feel. What you are doing now is what I didwhen I was 23.My friend bailed on me a week before we were supposed to leave, so I went anyway. I feel your feelings and how easy it is to get to know people on the road and learn about them. I can’t wait to hear your stories. Sharon

    • Kelly says:

      That was so brave and bold in those days. Are you not so glad that you did it now? Life has a way of tossing us around so we need to take those chances when they are sent our way. Thank you for reading. I am honored by your thoughts.

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