As we are all living through the anguish and worry of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it would be good to get back to basics. So, we asked our Tucson, Arizona, friend, Donna Reed, to describe why it is that she travels and how it has, and will again, impact her life.
This morning I woke up and the first photo in my Facebook Feed that I saw was a picture of the Roman Forum with spring blooms. It is a sunny day in Rome. My friend Leo is in his third or fourth week of quarantine. Leo is an archaeologist and tour guide. He is the man who showed the Obamas around. He is the man who “hangs out” with the Pope. He worked with the Ben Stiller family. Leo knows people. And, he knows history. And, during this crazy time in our world, he continues to share his knowledge via Facebook and photos. I have learned so much.
I love Rome. I love Italy. I love France. And Sweden! I love Sweden. Pretty much I love the world. I love learning about the history that in my childhood only came from books. Photos of places that seemed exotic to this small town Ohio girl. Traveling opens your mind to all that is scattered around the globe. Suddenly you see a REAL Viking ship!! Not just something in a Netflix series. You walk through Israel in the footsteps of Jesus, and, offer prayers at the Western Wall. You see the ancient aqueducts and the ingenuity of people who lived thousands of years before us.
AND, there is the food. You get to TASTE the food. All senses are heightened when you travel! You are relaxing and feel the breezes. You smell the smells of spices that are different than the ones you grew up with. You hear words that you KNOW are communicating something to someone and yet you have no idea what they are saying. And friends, we don’t have to go far to experience a different life. Often the differences are in our own backyards.
During this time of quarantine, people are cooking at home. Trying new recipes. In Arizona, windows are open so I can smell those spices! People are learning languages online. And, some of us are not only praying that we get to return to those countries we love, we are also praying that each and every person we already know who lives someplace outside our little perimeter of current life, are well, and healthy. Travel gets in your blood. It is the best of everything to me. Nobody can remove the memories or stop me from want to adventure out again.
This craziness will pass and then we all can get back out and continue to learn and share!!
A little about Donna: As the daughter of travelers and a grandfather who journeyed on the Queen Mary across the ocean, the feeling that I needed to see other places has always felt comfortable. As an 18 year old, I joined Up With People and since it was the Bicentennial in the United States, we traveled around this great country and then into the heart of Mexico. The summer of 1978 was my first trip abroad and I spent $900 (Yes TOTAL) for 6 weeks in Europe. (That was when $10 per day still was possible). That joy of travel has never diminished. Now as an adult, I don’t want to sleep outside on busy street corners (Yep did this), however, the adventure in learning about new cultures has never waned. Most recently, as a Realtor with Keller Williams Southern Arizona, I spent a week in Lyon, France, as part of their annual meeting called “Family Reunion.” It reminded me that regardless of where we live, we are indeed, all family.