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