Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejuidce, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Last week, my family and I had the opportunity for a fast and furious road trip that landed us in Arizona.
We took our daughter out of school for a couple of days and traveled the country. She learned skills like reading a map for mileage, how to navigate the country, and meeting different cultures of people.
We stopped at Gladstone, NM and visited a town that had a population of five people.
We drove in stop and go traffic, and busy interstates.
We hiked through two national parks and learned about cacti and wildlife.
I would add to Twain’s quote that travel also helps me appreciate what I have where I live as well.
As we were visiting with locals we learned this was their first year back to in-person school.
They have spent the last two years doing school virtually. My heart stopped. We were out for eight weeks total.
Their county fair was virtual as well. It reminded me of the beauty of our small town.
As we researched national parks in New Mexico, we saw backcountry camping was not open due to the reopening from COVID. If you don’t know, backcountry camping is great because there are only a few spots available, the campsites are outdoors, and far away from anyone.
When we returned home we were exhausted but happy. We took the long way around to see new country, built memories together, laughed, had some disagreements, and I saw where small town life had changed me.
I grew up in bumper to bumper traffic, people honking and screaming at each other, etc.
It was nothing to me.
But now, years later, driving on the interstate terrified me. I suddenly realized how much I had changed. I didn’t love that part. But I also discovered the news we are fed daily often makes me afraid of bigger cities and people.
Seeing different cultures and meeting new people reminded me that people are basically good and kind.
It seems the news we watch tends to divide us and makes us afraid. And sharing that education with our daughter was priceless.
Getting out of town is a wonderful opportunity. Returning home is great too!
And gratitude for those who helped us with our animals!
On our trip, I put my phone away. I focused on the beauty of my family, what an incredible gift this time was, how blessed I am, and that family is the most important thing.
Last year I chose staying home and working on the county fair insert instead of camping with my husband and daughter.
I chose work over family. And I feel like I paid for it.
As we hiked through the White Sands National Park, hometown news came in that was important to cover. But I took a breath and decided it would have to wait because these memories are few and far between. Balance is everything.
So this year, if we get the oppportunity to get away or camp again, the insert will come a week late.
The only wish I had was that we had more time.
Time is the gift. How are we using it?
It’s quiet in town. It’s as if the world left to go on vacation. I can hear birds chirping, a gentle rain shower, and peace is rushing through me. Last week my daughter had basketball camp and sheep shows. For the past couple months It was go, go, go, the paper... [More]
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