I wrote this right after getting back from our trip to Europe, and sat on it for a few weeks. After such an amazing adventure, I felt compelled to encourage others to experience it, too—moreso than I always do. So many people close to me have preconceived notions about travel. It’s expensive. It’s scary—dangerous, even. “It’s nice for you, but not for me.” But I want you to know it’s possible. And it’s something that I PROMISE you, you’ll never regret. So, here is my wish for all those whose feet seem glued to the ground. For those afraid to step beyond their comfort zones. For those who can’t even begin to fathom what they’re missing.
Just go. Go see all the beauty in the world.
I wish I could string together the right combination of words to tell you about the beauty of the world. I wish I could show you the most amazing collection of images that would inspire you to go see it for yourself. I know you’re scared. I know you don’t think it’s possible. But the world is full of wonders just waiting for you to see them. If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of wings.
I believe wholeheartedly that it’s true what they say: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Standing in the presence of the Colosseum, I knew that no item I could put on a credit card would ever make me trade that moment. I was a richer person for having stood there, marveling at the magnificence of it all. It’s something I will carry with me forever.
I wish you could have those moments. I wish you could look out over the beauty of the Grand Canyon and realize how completely insignificant your place is in the world. I wish you could be moved in that moment, knowing it’s as if the Creator took a palette and a brush, and painted the most breathtaking scene for you to witness.
I wish you could stand atop the Acropolis, and look far out into the distant hills, where you can see the gouges of missing marble—marble used to build the Parthenon where you stand. I wish you could realize that civilizations centuries before you lived a completely different life, but made the most of their moment in time. They probably had no idea that their handiwork would one day attract millions of tourists with their cameras in tow. It makes you wonder what we’ll leave behind, at which future generations can marvel.
I wish you could stand beneath a cascading waterfall in Hawaii, and wonder about the journey the water has taken to get there. I wish you could look out over the Cliffs of Moher and feel as though you’re at the edge of the world. I wish you could see the Eiffel Tower light up at night, and fall head over heels in love with Paris. I wish you could get wonderfully lost in the streets of Florence. I wish you could take a road trip through the United States and marvel at the enormity—and beauty—of your own country. I wish you could watch orca whales glide effortlessly through the waterways of Alaska. I wish you could wake up to the howler monkeys that call Costa Rica home. I wish you could see the sun rise above the clouds from your window seat view on a plane, and know that you’re embarking upon a journey that will make you a better person than you were before.
I believe that the best stories are found between the pages of a passport. I believe that travel brings balance back into our lives. It gives us perspective; clarity. It makes us more tolerant of others. It provides us with a better education than we could hope to find in any classroom. It revitalizes. It invigorates. It has the power to change us.
I wish you believed me when I tell you it’s all possible for you, too. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. It just has to be meaningful. I wish I could convince you that our culture of instant gratification has a big impact on our means to travel. If you look at my pictures with envy, I wish I could convince you to reassess your priorities. If you really have the desire to travel, you can make it happen.
I know I’m lucky. I feel it each and every time I stand in the presence of something I’ve only seen in history books. My heart swells just a little. My breath catches in my throat. Sometimes I have to pinch myself just to make sure it isn’t all a dream.
I wish with all my heart you could experience it, too.