Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Adventure Time

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
~Mark Twain

When you think of the word adventure what do you think of? I think of traveling to new places and trying new things. There can be nothing more terrifying and exhilarating than entering a country where you don't know the language or way around and setting out to explore.

Unfortunately travel is expensive and time consuming. I know many people who feel that money is better spent on possessions rather than experience. But what does that lead to? Would you rather say you lived your life with the best car, furniture, shoes or electronics or would you like to say you saw a part of the world?

Of course today's travel market is full of deals. We have Living Social, 50/50, Expedia, Travelocity, any number of point system cards for airlines and hotels not to mention the sites that promote things like house-swapping or working vacations. These just scratch the surface of ways to afford travel time.

Recently while in Washington DC I was taking a break from the heat by browsing in a Gap. Clearance t-shirt in hand I was in a long conversation with the clerk about which airline has the best rewards card. We agreed on Delta for their partial pay with miles ability. He said he just booked his trip to Hong Kong by using partial points and I replied I had just done the same for my next Amsterdam trip. Somehow I don't think the Gap is paying their employees the big bucks. This guy just loves to travel and knows the system to make it affordable.

Last summer I had the opportunity to send my oldest son on a People to People trip through Europe. He was able to see parts of England, France, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands. He participated in honoring his great grandfather in Normandy, climbed the Eiffel Tower, rode the London Eye, saw the beauty of Ireland's countryside, ate Belgium chocolate and Dutch cheese. He came home with a head swimming with adventure and stories.

Yes, it took a village to get him there. The trip was split between myself, his dad, my parents and fundraisers. Will I hesitate to ever do it for my next two if they want? Absolutely not.

Kids (and adults) who get to see different parts of their world recognize what a small speck they are in the scheme of things. They get to see different cultures, hear different languages, see whole other ways of life that can open their eyes to a great big world of opportunities and explorations they never knew existed.

Do you have that one place you've always wanted to go? That bucket list or "someday" adventure? Do what a friend of mine recently did. Put a small amount away every month in a separate account. We never know how many "somedays" we have left. I suggest we make the most of them.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

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