Life Experiences

October 18, 2009
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Sitting in an airplane once again. Destination: unknown. Sometimes I wish I could do this. Sometimes I feel like I am doing this.
Blessings come in different packages. The opportunity to travel has shaped my life. If somebody asked how many times I’ve been on an airplane, I would not know the answer. As a toddler and young kid, I could snow ski and swim, and we spent most summers in Orlando. On New Year’s Eve 1999 we boarded Royal Caribbean’s The Navigator and celebrated the coming of the millennium. At 7 years old, I clearly remember the astonishing celebration on December 31st, 1999. However, after several years traveling in America, we decided to spend vacations in Europe instead.
“Well kids, what do you think about going to Paris for Christmas?” asked my father so many years ago. We visited the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc of Triumph, and other popular tourist attractions. After one week in Paris, we got on a train and headed to the Alps for skiing. The memory of looking out the train window and seeing the snowy French mountains remains etched in my brain. The next summer we toured around southern Germany and Austria.
Unlike public belief, too much traveling has its positive and negative aspects.
I count myself lucky for having been offered such incredible travel opportunities. However, I have also realized the downside of traveling with children. As a young kid, spending the day in a museum horrified me. ‘But I haven’t done anything wrong! Why are mommy and daddy bringing me here?’ I would think. I saw museums, castles, cathedrals, old monuments. I thought it was punishment rather than a way of learning. I did not understand why I was not allowed to touch the funny-looking little marble man, and the idea that my parents actually enjoyed visiting such weird looking and boring places baffled me. For me, the concept of ‘fun’ did not include walking through room after room, observing without being allowed to play or even touch.
I am older now. I regret missing the opportunities my parents so caringly gave me. I wish I would have appreciated the beauty as much as they did. Even though I am 17, I still do not enjoy museums, yet I visit whenever given the chance, and this time around I get as much out of the history as possible. I might not have learned all the history, but I certainly learned to value what is given to me.

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