Travel Birthday Wishes

Today is my birthday. Yay! No matter how old I get, my birthday is my favorite day of the year. Not because of gifts or parties, but because it is the one day a year that I legitimately get to “make it all about me”. This is the day I get to indulge in extra-deep introspection and ask those big questions. Have I lived a good life so far? Am I better off today than I was a year ago? What have I accomplished in my X number of years? Oh, and having cake doesn’t hurt.
surfOn a beautiful lazy summer day in my 14th year, I was sitting on a porch swing chatting with my grandparents; one of a million idyllic afternoons spent this way. I remember, I said to my grandparents “When I grow up I want to experience everything and go everywhere.” My wise grandmother replied, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it, even the sad things.” I think of that exchange often, especially on my birthday and mentally tally everything that was on that list, checking each one off, the great, the good, the sad, and the character building (aka shitty) things. While I have experienced everyTHING on the list, I still haven’t managed to get everyWHERE yet. That noted, I’ve made a decent dent and covered about 317,297miles (according the TripAdvisor’s Travel Map) and that leads me to the point of the post.
buddhaThe gifts I’ve been given over the years as the result of travel are too many to catalogue and I wish the same for you. Travel educates, inspires, humbles, delights, sobers, scares, fulfills, exhausts, energizes, challenges, and enhances your sense of self. Through travel, I have met some amazing people and seen incredible things. My love of travel has lead me here, to my little blog where I get to connect with you, dear reader. I appreciate every single one of you who visits my site, emails me, comments, or follows me on Twitter. Knowing there are like-minded travel lovers around the world is another gift for which I am most appreciative.
chess Whether you have traveled like this guy or simply explored to the boundaries of your  hamlet, I applaud your curiosity of the world around you. Travel, reading, or scrolling through photos of far-away destination is a great way to enrich your life, so whatever your financial means, explore this big, beautiful, terrifying, and amazing world. I guarantee you, it will change your life.
stonehengeSo, from me to you, on my birthday – May the road rise to greet you, may the wind always be at your back….and may you enjoy the gift of travel as often as you can and as far as you want to go. My deepest gratitude for your readership and here’s to another year of life!

What gift has travel bestowed on you? Let me know in the comments. But now……..cake!