Why do we travel? New scenery, new people, new food, new passport stamp? To get away from our ordinary? To discover the different? Why do we like different? Do we like different? Is it even about liking? Or is it about learning? What are we learning about? Others? Ourselves? Both? Who knew a vacation could be so complicated?
From my travels, I’ve learned that sometimes we travel to discover and appreciate what is really important to us by shedding our familiar surroundings like a winter coat that’s preventing us from feeling the sunshine on our skin. And the discovery of that warmth is what keeps us venturing out to new places and returning to old favorites. Discovering the world around us – taking in breathtaking natural wonders, eating adventurous foods, and witnessing cultural rituals – is really the bonus. And it’s a great bonus.
The other night, S and I planned out our summer, booking plane tickets to Crete and the Croatian coast, and reserving a B&B in Normandy known for it’s fresh-caught mussels. Not a bad summer. After our planning session, giddy with excitement about our summer travel plans, we put together an impromptu date night. A theater nearby was showing Divergent* in English, so we hopped in the car, bought tickets and had a romantic dinner across the parking lot at…Taco Bell (but seriously, the new Cantina Burrito is pretty good, especially when you’re living in Europe and missing Mexican food…I know, poor us, we have Augustiner and authentic brats, but no good Mexican).
After dinner, sitting in the theater, not regretting our Taco Bell one bit, I thought, “this summer is going to be an incredible adventure, but this really is all that I need”: dinner with my sweetheart, whether it’s at our favorite restaurant in Vienna or Taco Bell in a food court, and holding his hand at the movie theater. I know, cheesier than a TB Gordita, but still true. Three months into this year of travel and I’ve felt the sunshine on my (very pale after a German winter) skin. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter where I’m traveling in the world, I just need S…and maybe a burrito and a movie.
- Two thumbs up. It had just the right amount of teen romance/adventure movie cheesiness, plus a good story and great cast.