I’m having a little bit of a hard time just hopping right back into posting miles and points deals given the dark events of the last 24 hours in the world of aviation.  So many families who just thought they were heading on a big vacation.  So much loss.  So unnecessary.  So, instead of posting a half-hearted post about how to earn a few miles here or there, I think it makes more sense to share a post my dad wrote for me to use at my leisure a few weeks ago.  It is about why he travels.  I think in one way or another it is why we all travel.

Travel to me has always been the carrot at the end of the stick. It has been a constant in my life always out there teasing me, encouraging me, and exciting me. It holds promise and limitless expectations and offers potential rewards and lasting treasures. It is the big wrapped present under the tree. It is the known and the unknown, the expected and the surprise. Often the thrill and anticipation of the next trip is the reason that a bad day is tolerable, that a rough patch is navigable. It gives us another reason to look ahead to the promise of tomorrow. I am a big believer that life is meant to be enjoyed and not lived merely to endure. I always like having something to look forward to. I think it is essential to a healthy, happy life. Travel provides me such an impetus and goal.

As I grew up, my family would yearly take 2 week vacations that were usually centered on Colorado and The Rockies. We were not affluent so our trips were a mixture of camping in tents and staying in moderately priced motels and cabins. The trips also usually meant several all night drives for my Dad to maximize “on location time” and to save a few extra dollars. These trips were grand experiences that seeded my love for the western United States and fostered my appreciation and respect for travel. I looked forward to those summers of my youth as they meant baseball, no school and Our Trip.

I remember to this day peering to the northwest through our bug splattered windshield squinting for the first sign of the mountains on the horizon. It was usually around Roy, New Mexico that the visual curtain would rise and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range would first climb into view.

This was a magical moment and my life has been blessed with many such magnificent memories. There are too many to list, too many to share. But a few that readily come to mind might be the first sighting of the emerald waters of Lake Tahoe and the head shaking, neck straining encounter with the mighty Sequoias and Redwoods.

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There was the epic super full moon reflecting its brilliance on a snow covered midnight traverse of Wolf Creek Pass and the forest of aspens twinkling with their golden light near Telluride.

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I’ve witnessed a bear chasing a herd of elk in Yellowstone and a dozen woolly buffaloes swimming the currents of a mighty river with the expertise of a great ship captain.

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I have seen sunrises and sunsets that rival artistic masterpieces and rainbows that would stop traffic.

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I’ve experienced monuments both natural and man made that left me speechless and I have been given warmth by a crackling campfire. I have seen the power and finesse of mother nature with colors and patterns both rich and unique. I have seem flora and fauna blend together for a Kodak moment and a field of wildflowers so brightly colored that I reached for my RayBans.

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I have been blessed to see great cities in their finest light and in their most special season and ghost towns now occupied only by their memories.

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I have accessed major sporting events that existed only in my dreams. I have unhesitatingly drank from a clear and cold high mountain stream and the smell of a forest floor under a conifer covered canopy still comforts me like the aroma from my mother’s kitchen. The things I have seen. Too many to list, too many to share.

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That is why I travel, this is why I travel. It impresses me, it fuels me. It inspires me, it refreshes me. There is exploration and discovery. There is imagination and education. There is marvel and magic. It can be spiritual and outspoken. It can be a bond and common denominator for families and friends

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I am blessed that my wife and family love to travel so we can share this passion. I believe my wife’s secret nickname is “Let’s Go”.  We are fortunate that we were shown the beauty of travel and have been able to create many unbelievable memories that have made life’s journey physically, visually and sensuously remarkable. We have never made any singular trip out as the ultimate, but rather we think the sum of the parts is, and will ultimately be, our greatest adventure. We can’t wait till the next “wow’ moment occurs. Its gonna be great.

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I know why I travel.  I know why my dad travels.  I’d love to hear, why do you travel?

Posted by Mommy Points | 22 Comments

22 Responses to “This is Why I Travel”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful post! I think this quote sums it up for me “We have never made any singular trip out as the ultimate, but rather we think the sum of the parts is, and will ultimately be, our greatest adventure.” Thank you for sharing!

  2. Lisa says:

    Awww, Summer, this brought tears to my eyes … such wise, insightful perspectives on life, and expressed with beautiful eloquence. You are very blessed. Your Dad (and Mom!) certainly are keepers :)

  3. Barbara says:

    Stunning pictures and beautifully said. Thank you for this great post.

  4. Alex says:

    Great post. Thank you for sharing. You’re right, in the wake of the events of the last 24hours, it seems wrong to just talk about credit card sign on bonuses and new routes. Thanks for your ever-present insighfullness and sensitivity

  5. First, these photos are beautiful! I love the reflection and inspiration. The miles and points are great, but if we lose the whole idea of “why” we even collect them in the first place, well… You know the rest.

    Great minds think alike! I wrote a post recently on the eve of my birthday of what travel means, 10 years after I really dove head first into it! http://twototravelandtango.com/travel-stories/31-is-the-new-21-one-travelers-reflection-on-turning-31/

    Thanks for the beautifully inspiring post!

  6. Nick says:

    It’s like he’s a poet.

  7. Carrie says:

    My reasons for wanting to travel are pretty selfish. As a very busy Mom, working hard each day to raise a family, there are a gazillion details for which I am responsible every day. The driving, the juggling — it’s a ton of work to keep it all running. Being on vacation is a chance for us four to take a break from our normal routine and just be able to all be together and experience beautiful sites and have FUN together in a new place. Selfishly, I love having someone wait on ME for a few days here and there. Being able to take a break from the everyday routine and decompress is such a blessing!

  8. Jim says:

    As always, your Dad’s post are marvelous.

  9. Nancy says:

    I love this post! I too have great memories of trips when I was a kid. We used to load up the family station wagon and hit the road.

    I love how travel gives us all something to look forward to and anticipate.

  10. Kelly says:

    Omigosh, he is a poet, indeed. Thanks for the inspiring essay!

  11. Michelle says:

    Just beautiful words & pics!

  12. Santastico says:

    I am speechless!!! Because of posts like this is why your blog is part of a few sites I read first thing in the morning (and check for updates several times a day). :)

  13. Thanks to all for the kind words. It is thrilling and rewarding to write about some of the blessings I have been able to experience. Recently,a good friend of mine died unexpectedly and far too early in life. He had a list of destinations that were left unseen. Take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves. Enjoy your life and happy travels to all.
    And thanks for being Mommypoints followers.

  14. Carrie says:

    Grandpa Points, thank you!! :)

  15. Mary says:

    I loved this post! Could you add in where all the pictures were taken? They are absolutely breathtaking!

    • Mommy Points says:

      Mary, I will see if Grandpa can weigh in on some of the more exact locations of the pics. If there are any in particular you are especially interested in, let me know.

    • Mary, thanks for the gracious words. The photos in order;
      #1 ( lake ) – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
      #2,3 ( trees ) – Sequoia National Park, California
      #4 – (moon and snow) – Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado
      #5 – (aspen trees and lake) Maroon Bells, Colorado
      #6 – ( bear and elk ) Yellowstone, National Park
      #7 – ( buffalo swimming ) Yellowstone National Park
      #8 – ( sunset ) – Ft. Davis, Texas
      #9 – (rainbow) – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
      #10 -(flowers) Burton, Texas
      #11 – New York, City at Christmas
      #12 – Chicago, Illinois from the river
      #13 – (ghost town) – Bodie, California
      #14 -(stream) – east of Yellowstone National Park
      #15 -(aspen trees) Telluride, Colorado
      #16 -(slot canyon) Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona
      #17 -(grandma and grandpa) near Big Sur, California
      Photos are important to us and consequently we are very photographically centric on our trips. Thanks for enjoying them.

  16. Carolyn says:

    That was absolutely wonderful. Your Dad is an excellent writer and it’s always such a treat to read his posts.

  17. Gary Steiger says:

    Yes, the different beautiful sites and sensory experiences are a major reason I travel. But the more I travel, the more I value the intercultural experiences I have with people different than me.

  18. Onthego says:

    Find joy in the journey. So many people think travel is to visit a faraway place, but you can have a lot of fun at a campground. I met some relatives last year who had traveled the world ten times over, but hadn’t visited our own country. We have a lot to see right here. We also need to not forget there are areas of conflict in the world and be grateful for our liberties. That plane came down in an area of unrest. Peace in the USA is not guaranteed. As an American, I have lived through bombs going off in the part of the world where this occurred.

  19. […] enjoy about it? Why do we travel and why should we continue to do so? MommyPoints’ dad wrote a nice post on the subject […]

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