Thursday, July 1, 2010

Launching Come Fly With Me Week!

Photo: michigantownships.org


Hello Optimists,


Happy July! Today marks the "unofficial" launch of Come Fly With Me Week!! (The real first post of Come Fly With Me Week will be coming early next week). I've been counting down to this day since March 15th, an excruciatingly long 108 days ago, when I booked my trip to Europe. Finally my countdown has reached 0 and I don't think I can be any more excited to get going! The past 15 weeks have really gone by quickly, and I haven't had much time to let this whole idea of traveling sink into my mind. This will be my first time traveling to abroad so it's quite an event! But even in the days leading up to today, I was excited to go, but wasn't "freaking out" with excitement like I thought I'd be. And today I am surprisingly calm,  though I did notice last night that a little smirk would appear on my face for no apparent reason, and as the time got closer and closer to midnight, I couldn't hold back my smile any longer. And then there it was, officially July 1st, the day I would depart on an amazing journey. 


I am just so excited to see new lands, meet new people, and just experience a new way of life. I usually don't like to do all of the "touristy" things when I'm in a travel hot spot, as I think a better way of understanding the people and culture is to go where the locals go, but this time I'm up for it all. I want to see everything I can, even if I do look like a tourist doing it. But more than just seeing the sites just to mark them off my list, I want to feel the history behind every ruin, to surround myself with the culture of the people and the cities, and to immerse myself in the languages spoken by native tongues. I want to go to these places and see them with fresh and open eyes and leave feeling renewed and energized. 


I found an absolutely perfect quote for today's post that really captures the way I feel about my journey, and I couldn't resist sharing it's message with all of you.
"The destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -Henry Miller
No matter where you're traveling, whether it be to another continent or just another town close by, remember this powerful quote. Going to a new destination does not just offer a new place to "X" out on your map of places you've visited, but it is a new experience, a new beginning, a new way of seeing the world. When many of us think about traveling, we think about the destination. Let's get there as quickly as possible, do a little site-seeing, buy an ice cream cone, and go back to the hotel. Instead, we need to take it all in; let's experience this new place by letting it wrap us up in its culture, let it introduce us to a new way of life and open our eyes to the variety in our world. That's when you've arrived at your destination.

Please excuse my absence for the next few days, but do check back on Tuesday for the first Come Fly With Me Week post. Here's a little hint about the first place I'll be quoting from: This city is home to the oldest stock exchange in the world.

Think you know where it is? Check back on Tuesday to see if you're right!

Keep Smiling,

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