It's Day 29 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers. I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.)
I love to travel. Right now, I'm enjoying Palm Sunday from a cabana in Aruba, enjoying the tropical breezes, bright blue sky, and a few iguanas crossing my path. I just finished a great beach thriller (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins) and am about to start Paper Towns by John Green since it's being made into a movie, and I haven't read it yet. Life is good.
Since we're here enjoying this trip, it makes me think of the traveling I've done in my lifetime. When the girls were little and we lived in Pittsburgh, we did a lot of camping. Ed's sister and her family lived in Connecticut, and they have girls the same age, so we would meet in as many places as we could think of between our two states and with our campers. We visited Hershey, the Poconos, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Rehoboth Beach, Deep Creek Lake, Lake George, the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania called Knoebels (I think that's the place where Libby rode her first big roller coaster), and Niagara Falls. We also camped in Williamsburg with our friends Karan and Mike and their kids, and made many trips to Lake Cumberland with big groups of friends and family. We made lots of memories in that little pop up camper, even pulling it to Disney one year (that turned out to be a solid 7 days of rain, but we had a great time with our kids and nieces).
Without the camper, we took the girls to New York City, Salem, Dollywood, Cedar Point, Washington, D.C., Seabrook Island, Michigan, and the Outer Banks. We learned all kinds of things on these trips. The historical places taught us about great events in the past, the natural sites taught us about the beauty of our country, and the beaches, lakes, and amusement parks taught us about fun and laughter. Our family bonded and became closer with these trips, and time spent with family and friends was priceless.
When the girls were older, we continued to travel, eventually even overseas. It's amazing to experience other cultures and countries. We loved being surrounded by different languages, food, and centuries old architecture. Now, since the girls are in college, our trips are being taken separately more and more because of different schedules. Katie went to Pennsylvania (to see her boyfriend, John) and Florida with her OSU friends for her spring break, and Libby went to Destin with her fiance and his family. And we're here in Aruba. I'm excited that we have a trip this summer planned that will involve all of us again when we celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary.
What I Know For Sure: Travel broaden horizons, teaches you about life, and strengthens bonds with family and friends. As I see the palm trees flutter in the wind and the waves lap on the shore, I thank God that He made this awesome world, its natural beauty, and vastly different cultures, and lets us borrow it for awhile.