For a gal who was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky to generations of tobacco farmers, whose favorite pastime was playing outside (barefoot) until dark, and who had untold numbers of cousins (and yes, just to make you happy - who was related to Daniel Boone and the McCoys as all Kentuckians are), I've traveled a bit outside the box.
If only I could find my Spanish teacher Miss Rosita to thank her for the best six weeks of my life as a sixth-grader. She lit the fire of a cultural love affair that has yet to die down in an impressionable pig-tailed, twelve-year-old tomboy.
As a high schooler, I had poster boards pinned all over my bedroom walls that listed the capital cities of nearly every country in the world (a nerd at geographical heart!). I spent hours placing my head and heart inside countless travel books, and believe it or not, I coined the term "virtual" as I visited every continent multiple times a year!
Wanderlust was my middle name.
A few months ago, I had to do something a bit edgy and daring (something legal, of course). I decided to fly to Cancún for four days. All. By. Myself. I had to laugh out loud when the flight attendant handed me a Coke Zero that said "Explorer." Despite the fact I nearly didn't make it out of the LEX Airport due to an excessive and suspicious "density" in my carry-on, I knew God stamped His endorsement on my trip, and my mind took fanciful and delightful flight right along side my body!
What was that "density"? you might be thinking... Well, I was on a mission to dump over one thousand typed pages of historical carbon copies of "stuff" into two public trash containers across the street from Hotel del Sol at Puerto Juárez. (I considered burning the pages on the beach but feared getting arrested--and, I am, after all, a grandma, ya know.)
Sometimes we wander the globe for fun or to learn. Sometimes for necessity. Sometimes we journey to get away and to recharge. And sometimes our leaving brings us back home. What I deposited in México represented the seed sowing of Acceptance and Surrender, magnificent flowers when fully bloomed. It flagged a new beginning for my battle-weary heart. I could easily have burned those papers in my backyard in Midway or dumped them in the kitchen trashcan, but hauling them to Cancún seemed more intentional and symbolic, a bit adventuresome and odd, and at the same time satisfied the desire to get outta Dodge.
There is nothing like snorkeling or an ocean boat ride or a visit to see the ruins of Tulúm or riquísimos tacos to refresh the heart and mind and body. The best part about my trip to México, of course, was coming home. I landed at LEX just a bit lighter. But don't worry. Those most precious memories can never be disposed--they are safely nestled in my heart where they belong.
I've heard that when one door closes, another will open. But maybe you're like me and tend to hang out in the hallway. Maybe it's time for you to lighten up. I suppose, all things considered, that a door to be opened is only an arm's length away.
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