learning from our most memorable travel moments

Travel makes my life complete. It fuels my passion. Those of us who have the travel bug are truly missing the ability to travel and to even plan future travel in view of the COVID-19 pandemic the world is battling.

It’s also unfortunate that in recent times, terrorism and violence have scared people from travelling. I spent a month in Mexico a few years ago, and several people asked me if I was scared while there, as so much violence has been reported in the media. Based on my experiences, much of that is over-exaggerated. There are concerns when we travel to many locales around the world. But that shouldn’t stop us from ever travelling again. It should just encourage us to be more cautious and pro-active in our actions, so that we don’t become the targets of any kind of crime or the victim of an unexpected illness. Yes, things happen. But they can happen anywhere. A friend of mine was run over by a bus right here in my hometown of Winnipeg. But that hasn’t stopped her from travelling. She knows her limitations and uses precautions. Those are wise travel tips we all should think about and practice when we travel–near or far.

As we can’t really travel anywhere outside our immediate vicinities at present due to COVID, fellow travel enthusiasts and I have been thinking about our most memorable travel moments to help get us through. I think we can all have a great discussion around this theme that will put a positive spin back on going out and seeing the world when restrictions are lifted. So I ask …

1) What is YOUR most memorable travel moment and …

2) What valuable lesson did you learn from it?

I’ll start the ball rolling. My most memorable travel moment was back in 1996, during our week-long visit to the Greek island of Santorini. We’d taken a marathon 12-hour tour around the island on a particular day and ended up arriving by small boat to the island of Thirasia. Up above on the cliffs, we spotted the village of Manolas, and were told that there were only two ways to reach it. Walk up, or take a mule. We chose the mules.

Now, let me explain that there are/were no groomed trails to get you up to the top of the hill. And no guard rails to ensure you didn’t fall the considerable distance down the cliff to the sea. But there I was, purse in my lap and camera hanging from my shoulder (this was during the days of the much larger and heavier old DLS film cameras), and trying to hold onto the mule as we swayed side to side, slowly climbing the rocky cliff to the village at the top, where we were told we would be treated to amazing views and a nice lunch.

On arrival, Reg and I got comfortable and sat ourselves down for lunch and a couple of well-deserved beers in the late afternoon heat of the sun. We were truly exhausted, but over the course of an hour, were invigorated by the stunning vistas which provided amazing photographic opportunities, the terrific food and the refreshing libations. Suddenly, we noticed the trail of mules making their ways down the cliff without any passengers! I ran screaming after them, only to be told by their keeper that the mules quit at 4 pm each day (they must have been unionized!) and we would have to walk back down to the boat. Thank goodness my knees were in much better shape back in 1996. I know some of my fellow travellers suffered considerably from that unexpected experience.

Lesson learned: NEVER take anything for granted when you are travelling. You may be told that the mules will take you up to the village, but be sure to find out how you will get down. And be sure you can deal with the challenge. Never assume that the conditions are good, or doable for your abilities. Make sure you confirm that BEFORE embarking on any side excursion, and if there is a language barrier (as there often is in travel), do not let yourself be rushed into making a decision that could have very serious repercussions.

On the other hand, sometimes we have amazing travel experiences by stretching ourselves and doing things we likely otherwise would not have done and that is great. I’ve done many of those myself, including parasailing, swimming with sharks and stingrays, a shopping diversion in Jamaica that literally caused us to miss the departure of our cruise ship, and many, many other priceless moments.

Please share with us your most memorable travel moment, and the valuable travel lesson learned. I’m really looking forward to hearing your stories.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

43 Responses

  1. On the ‘assume nothing’ travel memories would be our cruise stop in Yangon, Myanmar. We had opted to spend the night on shore at a hotel and had set off on foot to explore the city. We’d left the bottles of water in the hotel thinking we would ‘buy some’ along the way and we set off armed with a map. . .not an English language map. The temperatures must have been in the 90’s and we got ourselves hopelessly turned around and so thirsty. . .no one sold water! They had buckets on the streets with ladles and everyone just drank out of them. . .at the point of my physical and emotional meltdown as no one seemed to speak English either. . .we were studying our map outside a shop and were being watched by the young shopkeeper. . .finally he approached us and in perfect ENGLISH!! asked if he could help us. Travel angels always seem to show up just when you need them the most!! Never will I set off again assuming I will find water along the way.

    • Hi Jackie and thanks for your comment. Now that COVID has hit, it is doubtful that any of us will take such chances again, as to drinking from a communal pail! But I guess when we’re really desperate, we’ll do anything. Here’s hoping we will indeed be able to travel safely again. 🙂

  2. Great question! Right now, my most memorable trip is the one that I took right before we got hit with the BIG PAUSE. Thinking back of the wonderful time I had in San Sebastian, Spain, the joy of staying in a spectacular hotel, hobnobbing in pinxtos bars, enjoying Basque cuisine, touring the Guggenheim in Bilbao, etc. paints a stark contrast between then and now…and fuels my uncertainty about the future.:-(

  3. In Alaska last year we got stuck in Juneau for 2.5 weeks during the ferry strike. Since we were there with our motorhome, there was no way to get the motorhome out until the strike lifted. We lucked out because on our last possible day when we ould leave to catch up with other booked parts of our trip, we got out. The ferry strike ended. We actually loved Juneau, as we got to see so much more than we otherwise would have. Juneau was a wonderful place to spend 2.5 weeks.

    • Wow, Wendy! I can’t imagine spending 2.5 weeks in Juneau! But like you say, sometimes good comes out of a bad travel experience and provides you with pleasant experiences you likely would not have had. Thx for stopping by the blog. 🙂

  4. Emese says:

    Like most people who travel quite a bit, I feel it would be hard to pick just one experience. The one that comes to mind (since I’ve been thinking of Mexico lately) is my first time in the country, on my honeymoon when my new husband and I stopped at a beautiful – and deserted – beach and the only car key we got for the rental broke in the driver side lock after we locked the car. So we were stranded with all our belonging locked in a car we couldn’t open or drive even if we did open it; before cell phones. We found someone to take one of us back to Cancun to the car rental place, and my husband had to go since the rental agreement was on his name. So I ended up spending half a day alone, on a deserted beach, in a country I’ve never been to before, with only a basic understanding of the language – and had the time of my life 🙂
    Emese recently posted…Books Help Us Travel the World in Space and Time When We Can’t Leave HomeMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Emese, and welcome to Chocolatour. Your story ix an excellent reason that we should always insist on receiving 2 keys when we rent a car. Thx very much for sharing.

  5. Frightening about the mules! I missed the last bus out of a jungle in Sri Lanka once and escaped by flagging down a kind scooter driver!

  6. I have to agree with your commenters that it’s hard to pick just one experience. So I’ll just pick one that came to mind reading Gwen’s comment. It was early December 2010 and we made a last minute decision to fly to London just for a couple of days with a trip via Eurostar to Paris in between (also for just a few days). It was one of our best trips ever. London at Christmas is amazing. We window-shopped on Oxford Street and then went to the Christmas tree lighting in Trafalgar Square. The people were in high spirits singing along with the choir of St. Martin in the Field. The mayors of Oslo (Norway has been providing the Christmas tree to London every year in thanks for Britain’s help in WWII) and London gave moving speeches. Afterward, enjoyed the spirit of the holiday in a pub in Covent Garden. Returning from Paris, we went to St. Paul’s for Evensong. Amazing. More holiday spirit at Harrods and Selfridges and we really didn’t want to leave. Anyway, the lesson — sometimes the best travel experiences are those that are hastily arranged and don’t require a long visit (although that would be preferred, of course). Just go for it!

    • Agreed, Cathy! Spending Christmas in a special place makes lasting memories. I think our best Christmas trip was on a Panama Canal cruise. We made some amazing friendships on that trip.

  7. I have many memorable moments from my travels, so it is hard to name a “most” memorable. One that comes to mind was from our honeymoon in 1975. We were camping as we drove from Toronto to the Rocky Mountains, and I’d left behind a crucial joining piece for our tent at the campground where we’d been the night before this discovery. We’d driven likely 200 or 300 kilometres so there was no going back. There was also no way to put up our relatively new 9 x 9 Woods canvas tent. My ever-resourceful husband put together something to hold the poles up from pieces of sticks and rope. The tent held; we got through the night and the next day were lucky to find the tent manufacturer in Thunder Bay. The kind receptionist gave us the piece we needed. We have camped many times since that first trip, but with tents that didn’t have quite as many pieces, and were easier to put up. We still made sure we had everything we needed before we packed up.
    We had a few more adventures on that first camping trip and celebrated our 40th anniversary with a camping trip in Australia, but this time we were in a campervan, not a tent!
    We’ve explored different countries around the world, but sometimes the most memorable adventures happen closer to home.
    You’re right that you can’t let fear dictate where or when you travel. You just have to know what you might face and be prepared to deal with it as best you can.

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  9. Lee says:

    Hi Doreen
    One of my most lasting travel memories has to be sailing down towards the island of Stromboli at night. This is an island about 40 miles north of Sicily and people have been using it as a natural light house for the last few hundred years as it is a gently erupting volcano. We judged it so we would get there just before daylight so we could see Stromboli erupting but not have to wait long for daylight to make anchoring easier.
    All I can say spectacular sight.
    Lesson learned don’t anchor too close to an erupting volcano once we had a sleep when we got up you could see small pieces of promise stone floating about so some of the pieces must of spewed out quite away

    Great memory thanks for the reminder lee
    Lee recently posted…New, Tummy Control UnderwearMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Wow! That’s indeed an exciting travel memory, Lee. Thx so much for sharing it with us, Lee.

      I’ve not yet been to Sicily, but it’s definitely on my list. What not to like about ANY part of Italy?

      Have you been over to https://chocolatour.net? There are some audio interviews and links to chocolate articles that I’ve uploaded there. This week, I’ll be uploading a video and launching my Indiegogo campaign in support of Chocolatour — the book. Stay tuned!
      Doreen recently posted…when travelling, the little things can mean a lotMy Profile

  10. Great story & some great comments too! My most memorable travel experience was when I was 18, FRESH out of high-school and had just moved to Germany for 6 months. I was in a “German as a second language” Class, and was among about 8 other classmates from all different countries. It was wonderful because it was my first significant travel experience, and being young – I was fascinated by the amazing differences in all of our cultures. I was in heaven being from small-town Saskatchewan! We spent an afternoon sharing stories about home and one man from Croatia opened up to us telling us he was on political asylum and couldn’t wait until his family could join him. He told us horror stories about being captured and tortured by Serbian Army during that war and tried to explain to us what it was like wondering each day if he would live or see his family again. I was heart-broken. It was such a great lesson to me at that time of my life that helped me realize how very lucky I was to be from the country I was from. It also made me realize what an amazing experience it was for me to be on that 6-month adventure. To this day, I am grateful for that.

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Billi, and so timely as today is Canadian Thanksgiving.

      Yes, we really need to be thankful for our Canadian heritage. We have it so good compared to much of the world. Being able to travel the world and see firsthand how others live and challenges they face really enforces that. Cheers!

  11. restlessjo says:

    Hi Doreen!
    Husband and I shared your experience with the mules on Santorini (now there’s a memorable place if ever there was one!) at around the same time. I can distinctly remember holding on for dear life and trying not to look over the edge. We cheated though and came down on the chairlifts- another stunning way to view the island.

    Mick’s not keen on chairlifts and the like but one of my best memories has to be the ride up from Funchal on Madeira, up and up to the Botanic Gardens and the Monte Palace gardens- a fabulous way to spend a 60th. No lesson learned other than how to say “wheeee!”

    Memorable and life lesson has to be the occasion when I left my handbag on the wall where I’d been sitting admiring the Acropolis. It contained my passport and we were due to fly home from Athens airport later that day. Some of the most traumatic hours in my life, visiting Consulate, getting new passport photo, trying desperately to make any Athens taxi pick us up!! But we lived to tell the tale.

    • Thans for the comment, Jo, and for joining us here on the blog.

      The chairlift was broken when when we’d been in Santorini as they’d had a mild earthquake! But the mule ride wasn’t on the island of Santorini itself. It was on one of the small outer islands we had visited during a day tour.

      Good thing the situation with your passport worked out OK. Those are sure scary moments!

  12. Linda Strange says:

    HI Doreen: A previous contributor’s comment about “being prepared to take what nature offers you” has to be the lesson from Doug’s and my Maui story.
    Staying on the glorious beaches of Kihei, we were relatively close to the wonder of a Mount Haleakala sunrise. We turned off the alarm at 4 a.m. and drove into the rainy darkness. The heavy mists made the unfamiliar mountain road through fragrant eucalyptus rather daunting, but we made it to the 10,00 ft peak parking lot, and into the shelter of the visitor centre.
    A couple from Washington State were there also, and we had a good chat with them, till he shone his flashlight on his watch, and declared it to be past time for sunrise.
    Not to be denied – several years later we bundled up again, this time with Doug’s sister in tow, and headed off into a promisingly bright morning. We arrived to quite a crowd; including people in South American garb playing haunting flute melodies. Surise approached splaying gorgeous colour over the bowl of the crater. Then suddenly the fog rolled across the whole area obscuring everything in sight! Memorable – for sure. But hardlyt what we expected. Thanks for a new perspective on this gift of nature.

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Linda! Yes, nature has a way of always having the upper hand on us. We can never guarantee the right to witness its splendour, but when we get the privilege … WOW! It’s almost always worth the while.

      Hope to see you here again soon.

  13. JUDIE FEIN says:

    i love reading about all your memorable moments. i probably sound like a travel addict, which i am, but my memorable moment always happens on the trip i just finished. in this case, i just came back from vanuatu. vanuatu? yes, the former new hebrides. and my most memorable moment was when i stood, for the first time, cheek to jowel, so to speak, with a village full of men in penis sheaths. i tried hard to look into their eyes, admire their agility, their intelligence, appreciate their dances, but, truth be told, my eyes kept wandering to….those penis sheaths. it was memorable because it was the naked truth, pun intended, but also because i realized how imnpoverished we are in terms of community, caring, sharing. we have a lot more money and material goodies than they do, but they have found the secret of being connected humans.

    • Well thanks for this comment, Judie. You have certainly had some remarkable travel experiences, but this one is definitely worth a closer look! Will take a look at your article in “psychology today.” I’m sure it will make for a satisfying read. 🙂

      Thanks again for dropping into the blog.

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  15. Oh my. Picking only one is impossible when you get ‘long in the tooth’ and have traveled extensively. Here, however, are a quick few that top my list

    1) Trying to find a train station very early on a foggy morning on my first trip to Portugal in ’75. No one spoke English, I was young & uncertain, the fog was so thick I could barely see across the street. But I made it and in the process had to summon up every bit of courage and determination to not be defeated. I often chuckle at how much fun it was to overcome that challenge.

    2) Fast forward a couple of decades. I’m in London, England on a business trip and realize it’s my birthday. Late on the Sunday afternoon I go for a walk and discover Trafalgar Square and the Church of St. Martin in the Fields. Evening is setting in, I notice the church is open and slip in to see what this landmark has to offer. . . .Evensong service was on and I got to sit quietly and enjoy this great choral concert. What a magical birthday gift to sit all by myself in a foreign land and absorb the moving sounds and sights that felt like they were there just for me.

    3) Another business trip, this time to Australia. I decide to treat myself to a stay at Avalanche Homestead in Snowy Mountain territory. We had a lovely dinner and then went out looking for kangaroos, wombats & other creatures after dark. Saw a few things, but the ‘roos were elusive. Since the mountain range marched off into the distance I thought sunrise would be spectacular. I set my alarm and hauled myself out of bed about an hour before sunrise. It was cold in them thar hills. But out I went and positioned my chair so that I could greet the morning sun. Sadly it turned out to be a cloudy morning so the arrival of dawn was a very subdued affair.

    Sure, the mountain ranges slowly coming into view as the sky lightened was nice, but given how frozen I was it felt like a bust, as experiences go. Just as I was turning to head back to bed I caught some motion down the long, broad valley in front of me. When I looked more closely I realized that it was a kangaroo bounding away. Then I realized there was a lot of motion down there and watched as 40-50 kangaroos all headed at great speed down the valley to some unknown destination. What a treat that was. And perhaps the fact that it was all over in a matter of seconds added to my delight.

    My big lesson from all of these experiences: when you travel you learn to be prepared for what the world offers you, not what you want from the world.

    • Love the sentiments you’ve shared with us, Gwen. Travel is all about learning and incorporating what we’ve learned into our lives to help us grow. If we adapt the “anything goes” approach and embrace whatever is to come we are much more likely to encounter life-altering moments as opposed to those who travel under the restrictions of a strict itinerary and are afraid to step off the beaten path.

      Love the images you’ve created in your travel moments. I can feel the excitement in seeing those ‘roos romp away. I can sense your feelings of uncertainly and fear in the fog in Portugal. And I embrace the feelings of peace and serenity you found on that special birthday in London. Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. Hello Doreen, I’ve been following this thread but feeling rather stumped by trying to decide what’s been the MOST memorable travel experience of my life. Your question caused a major traffic jam in my head. Then, this week, I went to Bon Portage. And it certainly was memorable so I’ll focus on that.

    Nut shell … it’s a small island off off Shag Harbour in Southwest Nova Scotia. Bon Portage is owned by Acadia University and recently partnered with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust … the first conservation partnership of its kind in Canada. Part of the ongoing research there is monitoring the Petrels (about 50,000 pair call this “home”). It’s a most unusual bird. Mates around 5 years old; female lays only one egg; both parents take turns incubating and feeding the young one after birth etc. The egg is laid in a burrow (long narrow hole) in mossy wooded areas on the island. The adults live on the ocean all day and take turns coming to the island an hour after sunset to feed their young. So here I am, on this wee island, standing by the light of the full moon in a scraggly forest, watching images wing by my knees, neck and nose and disappearing into holes. The next day, I made the rounds with the research team as they pulled chicks out of the burrows, measured various parts of their bodies and weighed them, then put them back. I held small birds in my hand (felt like jiggly jello), smelled them (musky) and heard their heart beat when I held their tummy to my ear. I’m still trying to find the right words to express the feeling of being there. “Privileged” comes to mind.

    What valuable lesson did I learn from this? Several actually. There are many magical moments to experience, right under our nose. We don’t have to travel far from home to find something beyond wonderful. I also realized how nature is both simple and complex. And how we sometime take nature for granted. I will try and slow down and find the wonder in nature every day. (Today I discovered the wonder of cobwebs in my lane when I went for my morning walk.) I also learned that there are young people (students) as well as profs who are passionate about bird studies. They go about their business like unsung heroes and heroines and get things done. I am grateful. That’s for starters. I’m sure other “lessons” will unfold as I digest the experience.

    • Thank you so much, Sandra, for taking the time to ponder the question and for sharing your special moment.

      Indeed, a very important traveller’s lesson is that we don’t have to travel far in order to experience the magical. It can literally be under our noses. The important thing is to take time to let the moment sink in. And to realize its beauty and significance. I hope your experience will encourage others to appreciate the wonders of their own backyards.

  17. My most memorable trip was to Israel in 2010 to attend a cousin’s wedding. Because there were so many memorable moments, I can’t distill it down to just one moment. Our group was me and my daughter, my sister, her husband and their two daughters.

    One “it’s a small world” moment came when we went to the Old City in Jerusalem. We walked into the market area and ran into our cousins. Imagine the population in Jerusalem and here you run into your Canadian cousins who are hosting the wedding you’re going to attend.

    Then we walked into one of the market shops and started talking to the owner, an Arab man whose family had, had the shop for centuries. Turned out the owner’s sister was teaching at my nieces’ high school in Alexandria, VA, USA.

    One of his nephews spoke perfect English. My daughter and I asked where he was from and he said he had just done a degree at Brock University in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. My daughter had just graduated from that same university! Truly amazing moments at what felt like the other end of the earth.

  18. Other than our fabulous Euro-Choco trip, Doreen, I would have to say my most memorable travel experience was a bike trip through the Loire Valley with my best friend Azana. We had the most wonderful Michelin map (and you know how much I love maps) to guide us. It showed all the tertiary roads, so we stuck to those and exchanged car traffic for sweeping fields of sunflowers, tiny vineyards, and shady glades of gum trees. Lunch was a baguette, some brie and a bottle of wine from whichever village we happened to passed through. With no accommodation booked, we stopped for the day whenever dusk was nigh – once at a palatial chateau, the next night at a renovated chicken coop. At night we read to each other from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Sadly, Azana died a few years later, making the memory all the more poignant.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that with us, Virginia.

      It gave me goosebumps when I got to the part about Azana dying. How wonderful it was that you 2 took the time to spend on such a memorable trip together. Those moments can never be duplicated and will remain in your memory banks forever. That’s what’s so special about travel. It adds depth and layers to our personalities — if we let it.

  19. Bill says:

    I have not travelled overly much so any travelling experience for me is a good one. Of course a memorable one for me was the bicycle trip I took through England/Scotland/Ireland upon retirement in 2004. What did I learn? They put granny gears on a touring bike for a reason. Regardless what they say, it IS the hills that kill you.

    Funny story:
    I flew into Manchester but didn’t want to bike out of there because the freeways looked like a bowl of spaghetti. So I took a train to York. Upon arrival, I assembled my bike in the York train station and then mounted up and rode to downtown York. Upon arriving at “The Shambles”, a pedestrianized cobblestoned area, I dismounted and was wheeling my bike when a young(er) fellow across the road came running over to me. “I have almost the same bike at home (a Trek touring bike) and I do a bit of touring” he commented. I asked him where he toured and it was mostly weekend trips out of his York home. He asked me where I intended to go and I outlined my proposed route of 600 or 700 miles. “Wow!”, he says, “and how far have you gone so far?” I looked down at my odometer and told him, “Oh, about a mile and a half.”

  20. My most memorable travel moment was when I got to meet and shake the hand of Fidel Castro in Havana. I was in Cuba via Semester at Sea in 2001 and I somehow elbowed my way up to the front of the line to try and meet Castro. Lo and behold, I made it and was looking the man eye to eye from three feet away. They said he was done signing things. I asked him, “Senor, uno mas por favor. Por favor.” He obliged. because of that, I have Fidel’s signature in my old passport, hanging in my room.

    Lesson learned: Always, always, always know a few words of the host language of the country you’re in. You never know when they come in handy and chances are, if the locals here you trying to speak their language, they are more apt to help.

    • How cool, Bassam, actually getting to meet Castro! AND participating in Semester at Sea!

      We’d sailed a couple of times with World Explorer Cruises (on their old steamships before they retired them off) and learned of their Semester of Sea program. What a way to learn! My friend, Evelyn Hannon, who operates the Journeywoman.com community of women travellers, has sailed with the Semester at Sea Program recently and loved it. Not sure what kind of ship they are using these days, but the camaraderie and life-changing experiences would be awesome.

      And thanks for sharing your experiences with us as well, Bill. You never told us whether you completed your ambitious trip! I’m sure the English countryside was awesome on a bike!

  21. Thanks, Liz, and Judy, for joining the conversation.

    Liz, you’re right. The mules’ union was a strong one and it was a funny moment. I’m just glad/grateful there weren’t any serious repercussions for us or anyone else in our group.

    And Judy: You’re right. We have so many precious travel memories to choose from. I’m so glad you had some special ones with your mother. Travel has built me into the person I am today and I am so grateful for each one of the special moments that have claimed a place in my memory banks.

  22. Boomergirl says:

    Oh my, so many special travel moments to choose from but two come to mind immediately:
    The first time I was in London with my ma. We were in a cab driving past Buckingham Palace. All I could think of was the nursery rhyme I loved as a kid, “Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been? I’ve been to London to visit the Queen” . Another big travel moment was in the Canadian Badlands of southeastern Alberta standing high above the South Saskatchewan River on a 34,000 acre ranch. The ranch has a kick butt gorgeous lodge and one room cabin and the most extraordinary view. The sense of space was nothing short of mind-blowing. Had never been in a space so large.

  23. epalmer says:

    Hi Doreen,

    I’m sorry, but I had to laugh when I read this – who would have thought that your transportation back down stopped working at 4:00 pm. Yes, we do take things for granted when we are travelling – thank you for pointing this out and for sharing your travelling experience with us!

  24. heidit says:

    Last summer I went to Hawaii and spent a week on the Big Island, where I stayed at the Fairmont Orchid (it was an amazing sale price). I enjoyed the amazing views, beautiful oceans and snorkelling with honu (sea turtles). One day, I was on the beach doing some people-watching. There was a group next to me with two moms, two dads, four or five children and at least one nanny. The entire time on the beach, the dads were frantically (and angrily) discussing a television show they were producing. They were constantly checking their e-mails and phoning people back in Los Angeles about this show, which apparently retooling. All I know about the show is that it was a reality show and it involved at least one of the Weinsteins. There, on this beautiful beach in Hawaii, surrounded by a magnificent blue ocean and exquisite sea life, these men could only talk about work. Their wives became frustrated. Their children wanted for their attention. The nanny tried to calm things down. And through it all, the men couldn’t stop talking about the television show, their useless third producer and how Weinstein felt about the project. As they left, one of the men commented that he felt like he didn’t get any time to enjoy the beach (my guess is he can easily afford to go back regularly). Prior to that incident, I was a bit of a workaholic, worrying about writing and contracts even while on vacation. Sitting on that beach, listening to those men talk endlessly about work while ignoring the beauty around them, I learned that sometimes you have to let go of work and enjoy the moment you’re in. Because you may not ever be back there again.

    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, Heidi.

      Isn’t it amazing how some people just don’t know how to enjoy the “NOW?” Maybe they need to read that book, “The Power of Now!” I was taught that important lesson by a friend a few years ago, and it made a great difference in my life. I always try and find that special something in every situation. Maybe that’s why I find travel so enriching, and so enlightening.

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