Hello my Travellati friends,
I couldn’t help identifying with Mrs. Miniver after the vortex of the holidays:
“Not that she didn’t enjoy the holidays: but she always felt—and it was, perhaps, the measure of her peculiar happiness—a little relieved when they were over. Her normal life pleased her so well that she was half afraid to step out of its frame in case one day she should find herself unable to get back.”
– Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver
You’re not the only one, Mrs. Miniver! Now is the time to reward yourself and step back into the picture frame of your own life after nurturing your family, friends, parents, neighbors, colleagues, in-laws, grand-parents, kids, grand-kids, cousins, second-cousins, step cousins once removed, your ex-husband’s ex-wife’s step-children, well...you get the drift.
Now’s the time to start thinking about YOU. What adventures will you be up to this year? Are you starting a new decade in your life with a bang? Having a well deserved mid-life crisis? Celebrating being a free bird (the positive term for empty nesters)? Newly retired?
Some of us contemplative types take some time off to gather ourselves together, wrap ourselves in a blanket of warmth and self-care, get to know ourselves again through reading or meditation or just being, as we prepare to choose the next path in our life’s journey. Where will it lead us? Which direction will we go? It’s not always clear, as Dante said:
"In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself astray in a dark wood
where the straight road had been lost sight of."
-- Dante's Inferno Canto I, translated by Seamus Heaney
Once we have gathered ourselves together, we spring forward into the next phase of our lives, perhaps more adventuresome than before, prepared to try new things and go to new places. As we grow in wisdom, for many of us experiences become more important than things. We may even divest ourselves of some of our material possessions in order to gain a sense of freedom.
And the ultimate freedom is to travel. You are always living in the moment when you travel, particularly to a new place or with new people, since you have no daily routine. Anything can happen, and often does! The best experiences on journeys, as in our lives, are the unexpected ones that occur as we travel along our paths. We need to look to both sides of the path, not focus so much on our destination, in order to become aware of these serendipitous gifts from the world.
As you pursue your life’s journey, we hope you will consider joining us on our journey to Paris in June to discover Papa's Paris and to meet Ernest Hemingway and his friends in person along our route as we follow in his footsteps through the moveable feast that is Paris. Save yourself a bunch of green by reserving by December 30.
Happy New Year!