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New sights, new sounds, new perspectives
If you let it, travel can change you.
You don’t need to travel far from the familiarity and cocoon of your home to learn, meet interesting people, or gain fresh insights.
I believe distance isn’t the critical factor.
You just need to be willing to open your eyes, ears, and heart.
That said, whenever I have the opportunity to explore a new city, state, or country, I always come back changed. Our recent trip to England was no exception, and I returned full of stories, memories, and well over a thousand photographs.
Like well-respected tourists, we marveled at double-decker buses, red telephone booths, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Parliament, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and spent hours in museums. Reading history does not begin to compare to walking down the streets and through the buildings where those events unfolded.
The crowded streets of London stood in stark contrast to our primary destination—the quiet villages and hills of the Cotswolds. My husband, the artist, would spend the week painting en Plein Air (outside rather than in a studio) in Winchcombe with a teacher and other students. I came to read, hike, take photographs, and support his creativity.
Throughout the next eight days, we forged new friendships within our artist group, but I also learned about life in this small village as I visited shopkeepers and people standing in their gardens. Did you know about the meteor that landed on the drive of a local couple in Winchcombe? The town’s information center houses a small piece of that meteor.
I came home with more than photos and souvenirs. I brought home the reassurance that more binds us together than separates us. We all long for peace and freedom and share concerns for the future.
I didn’t listen to any news for two weeks and returned to Monarch butterflies endangered by climate change, severe heat, and ongoing threats to democracy at home and around the world.
So, did this trip change me? Yes.
I know we cannot live in isolation. We must find common ground and work together, across and through, the barriers we allow to divide us.
Even traveling, I aim to abandon time to find the present.
We visited or drove through many of these villages in The Cotswolds. The sights and music will give you a lovely taste of the countryside.
“Think of England as a very large book. The Cotswolds would be an unfussy chapter in the middle somewhere where there is lots of limestone and even more sheep.”
— Susan Meissner
Find a little wonder this week, explore your world, and join hands.
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