With no true distinction of seasons in my beloved Miami, it is easy to forget that the world around us is not on a continuous vacation. Like most of us who venture out into unknown territory it is because the routine of life is reluctant to offer surprises. For me, travel does just that- – it offers surprises. Gladly, the surprises are ones that come from within.
In 2008, I took my first solo voyage to Guatemala. I arrived with more than enough Spanish ability to ask for directions, order food and carry on short conversations. I am eternally grateful for the patience of Guatemalan people. As I stumbled with finding my way around crowded bus stations, open markets and ancient ruins, I began to walk with an authority that I hadn’t noticed prior to my trip. I stopped translating and started speaking- – my Spanish was flowing. I ceased the nervous wrestling with directions and began strolling. I quit vacationing and started exploring. I began to like the Spanish speaking, calm and curious lady that presented herself. And it was then I realized, I must do more than just vacation. I MUST travel.