The Journey is The Destination!

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We love the journey! It starts with a dream or an idea or just a curiosity. Hearing my clients talk about far away places , exotic sights, sounds and flavors ! My mind begins to wonder. I dream of jungles and beaches with soft white sand and warm water, old historic architecture , cobbled streets crowded with merchants selling thier goods. Foods I’ve never tasted, smelled, or even heard of. Even the animals, bugs, Butterfly’s and birds lure my imagination to faraway places.

The world is vast and there is so much to see and to explore. But there was a time in my life when these thoughts never entered my mind and the idea of seeing the world hadn’t occurred to me. It’s hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t be just itchin’ to explore all that this big world has to offer.

Growing up, my parents weren’t big adventurers. They enjoyed seeing various places here in the U.S., but traveling to other countries was something I never recall hearing them talk about. Mostly, when I reminisce about our family vacations, I recall that my parents both seemed to have an appreciation of the South. My mother is from Tennessee and my father grew up in Colorado. It was my father that had a passion for the history and ambiance of the southern lifestyle , so we spent several summers on the beach in South Carolina ( Hilton Head, if I remember correctly) and touring plantations and old Antebellum mansions in and around Charleston. I recall the beauty of the blooming Dogwood trees and the unusually warm waters of the Atlantic ocean! The warm water always surprised me and my sister and I remember many long days enjoying the water with her and never wanting to get out! “Oh Mannnnn , another tour of some ‘Old’ house” ,( insert eye roll here! ).

My first big adventure as an adult, on my own outside the states, was probably Mexico with my first husband. But staying at an Americanized resort , spending time with American tourists and only eating American food doesn’t really count for much in my mind. The end of this journey left me feeling less than impressed. My second foray outside the U.S. , not a resort in a touristy area of Mexico, was a trip with my good friend Rich. He wanted to see Costa Rica way back in about 1998. This was before Costa Rica became the tourist destination that it is now. I had never even really heard of Costa Rica! But I followed along like a puppy dog, trusting that Rich knew what we were getting ourselves into. It was an organized trip with a company called The Green Turtle.( Tortuga Verde!) And it was camping on beaches and in jungles for three weeks! Camping???? I had never even been camping! Holy Crap! What am I doing????😱 ” What!, no guided tours or chlorinated swimming pools full of other American tourists!!!”. Yikes!

To merely say that I ‘liked’ Camping in Costa Rica would be an understatement ! I ‘Loved’ the entire experience ! It was like the sky opened up and I could see clearly for the first time!( Can you hear the music as the clouds part?) I loved the people, the culture, the food, and especially the nature! The monkeys, sloths, giant, vibrant blue butterflies, leaf cutter ants, the trees and flowers, I could go on and on! I had fallen in love with seeing the world and couldn’t wait to experience more. A traveler was born! One part of this trip that was a bit disappointing was the learning Spanish aspect. I didn’t mention that this trip was also meant to be a Spanish immersion . There was a local Costa Rican Spanish teacher traveling around with us and we had about 2-4 hours of very painful lessons every day. It was my first exposure to learning a new language and I was completely frustrated and overwhelmed . I think part of my problem was that I just wasn’t really prepared or didn’t have enough drive to work as hard as it takes to actually learn a language. My mind was too busy soaking up all the experiences and learning about this enchanting new love that I had been introduced to, namely, the jungle! Thank you Rich!πŸ˜ƒ

If I’ve learned anything about myself through the years it would be that , as far as travel goes, I love to really experience a culture when I’m visiting . And, more than anything, I love spontaneity ! Traveling without a set itinerary or rigid expectations is what I love best! I’m always so excited to see what adventures drops from the sky along the way. The adventure may be a broken down car in the middle of nowhere in Uruguay, or possibly finding a kilo of cocaine as we are exploring a reef off a tiny island in Belize , ( this is a good story, particularly since I had never even seen cocaine before in my entire life, remind me to tell you the whole story someday! Don’t worry, I didn’t try it! 😁 And there’s no foreign prison involved in the story!). A flash flood up in the jungle of Belize,( Belize has delivered some great adventures!), 4 weeks traveling through Italy, Slovenia and Croatia without any reservations and just finding great places to stay along the way, as well as meeting beautiful, generous people at each new location. These adventures have been spontaneity at its BEST!

When Me and Scott met each other in 2000 the initial attraction for both of us was our passion for travel. As a matter of fact, he was planning a three week backpacking trip to Costa Rica! So he was enchanted by this new women who’s newfound love of all things jungle was contagious,( My interpretation ! 😍) . Through the years we have grown to cherish our adventures together ! We both enjoy the journey, every bit of it. We have the best time when we find ourselves in a pinch and get to figure out how to solve a problem . We have a running joke between the two of us that we are always anxious to figure out ‘What will the Adventure be this time?’ Then when some crazy mishap slaps us in the face we look at each other and say, with a big grin on our face….’ Here it is!’. And we always get a chuckle out of looking back at all the challenges that made the journey so memorable! We get great pleasure in the journey no matter where we are traveling , near or far.

Yes, the ‘journey’ is definitely the ‘destination’! We just LOVE a Journey, it doesn’t really matter where we end up because it’s in the ‘getting there’ that brings us so much joy! I fall in love with my husband more and more with each new adventure we set out on. And I fall in love with the world around me as well !!!! We are currently experiencing unending examples of ‘Adventure’ inducing moments filled with mishaps as we prepare ourselves for our impending journey. Countless Decisions, seemingly unending hard work, constant planning, and non-stop research . This is the ‘Big Daddy’ of journeys ! And we are smiling In between all the craziness that comes with moving our lives to another country. And trying to hold onto our perspective , remembering that we love the journey, and that’s exactly what this is!!! This time in our lives is “The Journey!!”.

Indeed, this is quite a journey we have embarked upon. A journey that includes much strategizing and careful choreography. I expect to run into unforeseen detours and bumps on the way . As we create our own map to guide us along a path of our own making we will continue to grin throughout each wrong turn or dead-end . Perseverance , determination, and an unending ability to find humor along the road during this journey , are but a few of the navigational tools we will carry with us! Although in my mind , the most valuable tool for any successful journey is a desire to gracefully accept the path that unfolds before you and the ability to enjoy and appreciate both the good, bad and unexpected events. When we embrace the fact that our destination is the actual journey we really appreciate what an amazing destination we have chosen!!!

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About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

8 responses »

  1. So true the journey is actually the destination. ….And enjoyin the journey is imp den just reaching the destination with the hope to find happiness . Actually happiness lies in enjoying what you have today .

  2. Haha – I love the ‘Eek – Camping!’ comment. My wife can relate. The pain of learning a new language was nicely captured, too. This is a fun read!
    I hope to swap Uruguay stories with you someday. We fell in love with the country and we hope to go back some day, maybe to live. – Mike

  3. Holly you are such an amazing woman πŸ™‚ You continually to delight and surprise me in every way πŸ™‚ I am enjoying your delight in all things you have seen and done. I thank God you have found a man, (Scott), that enjoys the adventures with the same excitement and love for see new things and overcoming things that get in the way or rather are part of your adventure πŸ™‚ I love you both so much and I am so proud of both of you πŸ™‚ I know your journey will be fun and hopefully want have very many bumps in the road πŸ™‚ Love Mom xxxxoooo

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