I'm at my best when I'm just me.
I was sitting across the table from a friend just the other day when I realized how much I missed personal conversations. I find it so therapeutic to talk about matters of substance. We were just finishing setting up for the backdrop of a new travel video for Project Pride and she made me some coffee. We sat down and just talked. We asked how each other were, what we've experienced since the last time we saw one another, and enjoyed our time together. Part of what we talked about (or I did) is how interesting it's been to observe so many people across this country, from one end to the other. How diverse we are from 1 mile to the next. I mentioned how different it was to be outside the country looking in.
A ton of perspective has been gained this year. I can't express how huge that is for me. It had been a month since we talked, and I really appreciated both her company and the delicious cup of coffee she prepared. Somewhere in between that coffee and my friend existed something of great value. It's called connection. When it's removed we become different people. We behave differently and we adapt to isolation. That may be good to prevent transmission of a virus but it's insidious to our mental health. What would the year have looked like if we could talk, touch, love, hug, kiss and play together. I guess we'll never know. I just know how much I love and miss it.
That's also why I love my job. It does all those things. I can remember standing outside a ship of thousands of people with a "Free Hugs" sign and gave everyone a hug who wanted it. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Would you give me a hug? Maybe soon, and I'll take one from ya!
Listen my friend, I love what I do because I love travel. I'm really not sure when or if I'll ever settle down. One day I might be writing from South America and the next from Glacier National Park. That doesn't sound so bad to me! Travel has an enormous power to heal and grow. It's way more than a "sector" of the economy, it's something we've done since we could walk. It's inherent to our nature. This as well as curiosity, connections, the desire to learn, explore and so much more. I can't wait until it's the right time for YOU to travel.
For those of you wanting to get out and explore, I have something for you. A new departure. It's the MIGHTY FIVE on April 12, 2021. Five of the most magical parks I've ever explored. Check it out and give it some consideration.