Travel-related things I’m longing for on a wintery April day.

So, it’s April in Minnesota. Today, we’re under a winter storm warning, the forecast includes 30 mile-an-hour winds, and a 90% chance of precipitation, which is likely to result in 5-8″ of snow. So, that, coupled with seniors who want to graduate yesterday, sophomores with massive spring fever, and my very own desire to get more Vitamin D, has me longing for a trip.

Lately,  I’ve also been having a lot of conversations with my seniors about the importance of travel. Those who have been lucky enough to travel share the joys and insights they’ve experienced. Those who haven’t are frequently commenting on how excited they are to someday get out and see other placed. I’ve been imagining where my next trip will take me since this summer; I often look for plane tickets I won’t buy, and itineraries I won’t travel, but I really enjoy doing it anyway.

So, as soon as I started chronicling the things I was grateful for during my last round of travel, I also immediately started writing down things I missed about being anywhere that isn’t home. One of my {few} talents in life is getting nostalgic real quick; I don’t even need to leave a place before I start missing it. As I age, I realize the importance of writing down the things I appreciate as a reminder to enjoy these things every time I travel, and appreciate them even more as a motivation to get back into the world as soon as possible.

So, in no particular order of importance, here are the things I’m spending this snowy April day longing for, and more importantly, the things I’m grateful I’ve experienced:

  • The smell of honeysuckle trees nearly everywhere in Germany.
  • (Cheap and easy) public transportation that can get you almost anywhere.
  • WALKING. So much walking. Beautiful sunshine, pouring rain, alone, together, just walking.
  • Having a flexible enough day-to-day schedule that I can enjoy walking any- and everywhere, even if it takes longer than it should!
  • Random connections to perfect strangers–I will never forget seeing a man at the Valley of the Queens with a White Sox hat on!
  • Not being attached to my cell phone all the time. Little social media, no preoccupation, no CNN alerts that terrify me; just me, and the world around me.
  • Train travel that is cheap, efficient, and has wi-fi!
  • Centuries and millennia of history ALL AROUND YOU. All the time.
  • People with incredible accents, who speak multiple languages, but who kindly speak English with me.
  • Using paper maps and human capital to find my way around.
  • The serenity of coming upon some incredible historic/cultural/beautiful site and seeing it all alone, with no one around.
  • Using social media to share my experiences with my people: sharing sights and sounds with my students, learning from my friends, gaining insights into places to go, things to see, and food to eat; incredibly helpful and provides some degree of connectedness when traveling alone.
  • Getting lost in non-English conversations and imagining what is being said.
  • Public commitment to recycling and conservation. Europe is lightyears ahead of the US on this.
  • Seeing and doing new things every day. New experiences on the reg. Routine that has a time and place…but it’s not now, and not here.

In a day of wishing I was elsewhere, I’m grateful for the many awe-inspiring experiences I’ve had, (and thankful for a warm home to wish from)! Always looking forward–

MC Lean

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4 thoughts on “Travel-related things I’m longing for on a wintery April day.

  1. I hear you on the public transportation thing! I am so jealous of cities that have reliable, efficient, affordable public transportation – in my hometown the bus costs $3.30 (yes… you need a quarter and a nickel, and they haven’t introduced tap-to-pay cards yet!) and it can’t get up the (tiny) hill on my street if it’s snowy!

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