Last year, this past weekend, was the last time I traveled out of country or flew anywhere. Counios and Gane went to Billings, Montana for two nights for the High Plains Book Awards as nominees in the category of Young Adult Literature for our book Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing. We came home and on Canadian Thanksgiving hopped on a plane and flew to Toronto for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards for a nomination for the John Spray Mystery Award, again for Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing. It was quite a whirl wind of books, tours, book people, food, socializing and traveling. It. Was. Awesome.
Since then I have been grounded, quite literally. Our current state of affairs has kept us out of airports, and has even kept us out of neighboring provinces. I don’t feel punished because I know it’s a good idea to stay close to home.
But after about 365 days I can say that I miss travel. I miss airports and airplanes. I miss showing up in a different place and exploring. I even miss hotel rooms and lines in airport security.
I believe I am part gypsy and I also think that when something is taken from us we then understand if it was part of us or not. Some people may not care that they even went anywhere over the last year or past decade for that matter. I know a person who hasn’t left the country, much less the province her whole life. And talking to a staff member, she confessed that her travel experience has only been to Barbados—once. Once. Whoa. One time at an airport to travel—ever. Crazy.
Travel may very well be one of my core values. My first trip I was a wee little one, leaving Greece and flying to Canada. I flew again at age seven and then fourteen on my parents’ dime. As an adult I traveled as much as I could afford to. Even the years I had very little money I managed enough to get on a plane to somewhere.
I’m certain that my house would have been paid off if, instead of travelling for my 30 adult years, I saved all that money to pay off my home. But, experiences needed to happen and exploring is part of who I am and so money went to memories and moments rather than mortgages—with zero regrets.
I have a very nice home and I am managing it financially but it just wasn’t a priority to reduce the mortgage. It was a priority to get some fantastic experiences under my belt, see beautiful things, meet lovely people, eat interesting foods, and find gratitude in my smallness inside the hugeness of this world.
What do they (those smart people we keep quoting) say: We only regret the chances we didn’t take. They are correct. And let me just say the next time I travel any distance it will be epic! In the meantime I’m going to enjoy my lovely home.