Author Archives: travelandwritetoday ™

About travelandwritetoday ™

Former teacher, currently working in HR, always a traveler & writer.

Home Away from Home — more on the story behind Travel and Write Today

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” — Ibn Battuta

From a young age I’ve always loved traveling and staying in hotels — whether it was extravagant or just a small inn — I just liked feeling the comforts of home while traveling. I loved taking our yearly road trip to visit my family, and our annual trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania – I still feel peace when I think back to the sound of the horse-drawn carriages. My parents and I were driving home from one of these road trips, and I was noticing all of the hotels in the area. I looked over at my parents and said, “One day I’d like to write a book called A Home Away from Home”, my parents smiled, and I pushed that thought aside after that car ride. I have no intention of writing that particular book, but writing about my travels, and experiences, whether it’s thousands of miles away or somewhere local, makes me happy.

We would often go to Florida — we went to Disney World because we loved it, and a little further south to visit my great-grandparents. The best parts of Disney were not only the rides, but the fact that we walked around the parks until we were exhausted, and then we’d come back to the hotel to go in the pool — we never turned on the TV. Everything revolved around joy and magic. I always felt like I was in the moment, which for me is generally difficult, and it has been even from childhood. I cried whenever we were on the shuttle back to the airport, and I still feel this way now when leaving Disney World. I feel that way when leaving most trips. Looking at all the photographs, and writing about our adventures gives me the chance to travel to these places all over again.

I’ve been trying to bring the feelings I have, while on vacation, into my every day life. There is opportunity for joy and living in the moment even if you’re visiting a farm in a nearby town, having breakfast at your favorite local spot, or just sitting on your back patio having coffee. For me, travel now has become less about just the hotel, but more about the experience of being somewhere new — the sunrises, the local bookstores, the small coffeeshops, the water views, the breakfast place recommended by a local, the dinners (even if it is just room service), and the sunsets.  Now, when traveling we unintentionally end up with a daily routine, and by the time the trip is over we are ready to pick-up and move there. This has brought new meaning to that original book title I mentioned, to my parents, many years ago. It truly becomes a home away from home.

Travel today is about being in the moment today — planning your next adventure — near or far — and just enjoying what’s in front of you. It is not focusing on work, emails, the to-do list, the bills — it’s feeling joy in the moment. Of course you cannot control your feelings, and I know regardless of how much I am enjoying my time, the every day stresses have a way of creeping in. When this happens I just try to bring myself back to the present moment, focusing on the taste of my red wine, the laughter of my family, and the views around me.

Writing this post was the first thing I did this morning — I am sitting here with my coffee, and I am truly in the present moment. That is what Travel and Write today is about — it’s writing, planning, traveling, working towards your goals, and putting yourself out there, regardless of the outcome (and even when it’s scary). I am reminding myself of this every single day.

Water Towers

My dad had a fascination with water towers. He loved seeing them in the distance as we drove into small towns, he loved taking photographs of water towers, and he hoped to publish a book or calendar with his photos. He felt like they were symbolic of something, but I don’t remember what that was, I just know he found them to be comforting, and he often would drive to towns just to see them. Me and my mom would always point them out on our drives, and then we would pull over so he could take his photos. The best one is probably the Mickey Ears from Walt Disney World. My dad passed away 7 years ago and he didn’t get to publish his book of water towers, and at this moment I do not know where most of these photographs are, but I think of my dad whenever I see a tall tower in the distance.

During a road trip, when I was a child, we were talking about our passion for writing, travel, and small towns. I mentioned wanting to write a travel book one day… the term “one day” and “someday” have always been a big part of my vocabulary:

“I will do it one day.”

“I want to go there someday.”

“I will write a book one day.”

Even though I can’t snap my fingers and be anywhere, and I can’t always find the time to write, my mindset has shifted. Travel and write today doesn’t mean you will do everything or be everywhere today, it just means that you’re working towards it today. If you want to write, you write, if you want to travel, you plan. Like my motto says: If you’re deciding on the right time to work towards your goals or change careers, the right time to take that next trip, the best time to write that book — the answer is today. Don’t wait. I know others have published water tower books, and anyone can go out there and see them standing beautifully in the distance against the sky, but the photographs you see won’t be my dad’s – and that’s why I’ve changed my way of thinking – don’t do it one day or someday. Do it today.