The Travel Quilt
A newsletter about travel experiences by Pamela MacDonald
Edition 1, 15 May 2010
Every place I visit leaves an undeniable change……. in ME. “We never touch others so lightly as to not leave a trace.”
I forget where I learned these tidbits about travel — but I have taken notes and now offer them to you. I am sharing a collective wisdom … words shared by other ‘world travelers’. I carry a note book in my purse and record the collection of words.
“This moment, this place, this scent, this view, and I am forever changed. As the moments slip by, my person is renewed and recreated with the experiences and sensations from this and every place.” “Travel writing …. my new frontier. My journey in life. Never the destination, always a learning experience.”
I am a sum of my parts and your influence. How we interact, the interplay …. the ‘quilt’ we weave together.
This is my Travel Quilt. This is my quilted travel journal. The textured fabric and strong seams all matter. The finished product is only the depiction of how the roads intersected. A summary. A snapshot of a moment in time.
Come join me in my journey.
Share your words of wisdom learned along the way ………… let us create this quilt together.
In no particular order or significance, let the language of travel shift your perspective.
”Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. It is played over and over in the mind. Stories can be accessed and experiences re-lived.”
“As a first time traveler, the biggest issue you will encounter is your own state of mind.” Pre departure preparation and post vacation slump. Keep busy and keep planning the next one. Let no moss grow on the moments between travel memories and travel planning. The anticipation of travel is sweet indeed and deepens the experience.
”Whatever your experience, be a first time traveler at heart.” See the world with new eyes and breathe in deeply the new scents of places and times.
One of the greatest pleasures of any trip is talking to people. Trips can be made by the people you encounter.
Be as mindful as you can. Meditate. Be in the moment as many moments as possible.
Don’t plan too much, prepare to be flexible. Be open to that which you had not anticipated. Delight in the details of the unexpected. Be patient, polite and persistent.
Enjoy and appreciate. Keep a gratitude travel journal. Review the highlights. Daily reflection will reinforce the memories.
If you are anything like me, you have a destination in mind. You woke up once to the idea of that special place. The smells, the sounds, the sights, the satisfaction of knowing there is a special place that you will rejoice in the travel to. A destination where, when you hear the name of this sacred place, your heart quickens, your mind goes to the awakened senses and you realize a longing in your soul. A place, like Paris, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Moscow, Venice, Rome, the beaches of Kauai, Glacier Bay or Denali National Park in Alaska or Long Beach California.
When you read a book or see a show you recognize this place as a part of your self and the longing awakens once again. You notice and make a mental list of “to do” activities that are “must do’s” in this location. The list includes, the best place to taste crème brulee, the best ice cream shop, chocolaterie, country and western or jazz / blues lounge, where to snorkel to encounter the widest variety of colorful tropical fish, what is the food unique to this location, what wine pairings can you expect, is there a Starbucks? Is there a quilt shop nearby so you can pick up some fabric with depictions of this fabulous place and its history? What are the local museums or historic landmarks that simply must be seen and form part of the scrapbook memories? Are you seeking adventure, art, romance, history through architecture, spiritual retreat, enlightenment, education or sheer delight and relaxation? If only for an unforgettable moment, what place, sound, scent, sight are you wanting to be close to? We all want to tell tales of time spent in a most fascinating place.
We sometimes get lost in lists of items to take, packing anxiety, making reservations, choosing shore excursions, comparing prices and quality, investigating travel protection, security procedures and payment policies (when is the non refundable period?).
Take a breath, take another one …..
There is nothing to fear … jump in with all your senses and “don’t miss the boat”. Cruising and travel, experience and write about your adventures. Your life will be changed and your experiences captured and memories stirred by the reading of the journey in the future.
I welcome your thoughts, your story and the quilt we weave together as we share.