“I am acutely aware that I am now the middle-aged traveler that I used to consider to lame, so embarrassing. And I have something to say to my 20-year-old self:
‘You cannot possibly know how much time it takes to learn to treasure this world, how many years it takes to properly cherish your place in it. As you age, you will find it more and more remarkable, a miracle really, that any of us — you, me — are here at all, the result of an undeserved, infinite gift. And the older you get, the more you know how much you will miss all this when you are gone. In the end, the world was not all that changed by your coming, you were not all that crucial to it. But the world, this world, which you will one day travel in homage and gratitude, this world was everything to you.‘ ” ~ Vivian Swift
I adore this quote from Vivian Swift’s Le Road Trip: A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France.
I’ve always loved travelling from a young age, thanks to growing up in a family that places great value on seeing the world. I don’t think I ever thought too much about the older traveller (lame, embarassing or otherwise) when I was a teen or in my early-twenties… I was too busy enjoying myself!
But certainly I didn’t have then the know-how I have now… How to pull together a really great trip, what kind of travel I enjoy and what is not for me, how to balance everything I want to see with the need for self care (it has become important to cater for the myriad physical ailments that come with age!), and an ever-more-voracious appetite for learning about a place – its history, its culture, its cuisine, its people.
And it’s true that the older I get, the more my perspective on time changes… as a youngster, I really thought I had all the time in the world… but with every year that passes I understand more accutely how fleeting a human lifetime is against the incredible vastness of everything the world offers.
Although I’d read the statistics, I didn’t appreciate how sparse the population of Iceland is outside of Reykjavik until we did our self-drive trip around the main N1 ring road. So often, we would see just one colourful house sat all alone in a wide open landscape. A dream for photographers, providing such perfect focal points for our landscape images, but no doubt a much more isolated lifestyle than I had imagined.
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