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Giving the Gift of Travel

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of junk in my attic. Most of it is decades old and has no value to me anymore and yet … there it stays.

Unfortunately, many of us get caught up in holding on to things that don’t necessarily bring us joy, rather just fill space in our closets. I once read a book that said the best way to weed through our “stuff” is to hold it up and determine its joy value. In other words, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much joy does that item bring you? If the number is lower than say 6, it’s not worth holding on to. Not a bad idea and something I hope to employ sooner rather than later.

That brings me to what does bring me joy?

For me, the answer is easy: Travel.

Travel has been bringing me joy since I’m a child. And, it holds tremendous value for me for so many reasons. Above all else, it’s an opportunity for me to share unique experiences and make memories with my family and friends.

Speaking of friends, I met up with one recently for dinner. We were talking about all the milestones that were ahead for our children, such as graduation and special birthdays. She told me her two teenage sons would be heading to Costa Rica this coming summer with their grandparents and cousins.

“How wonderful!” I commented. “Will you and your husband be going as well?” I said. She replied no, explaining that her parents started a tradition many years ago that once each grandchild turned 16, they were given the gift of travel. They could choose where they wanted to go (with some assistance) and the grandparents would travel with them to their desired destination and together they would make their own memories. In exchange, her and her husband were afforded some time to take their own vacation together or stay home and enjoy some peace and quiet.

What an incredible gift these grandparents are giving their children and grandchildren! The rewards are endless and what they will receive in return truly cannot be measured.

We had a similar situation. The Christmas before Covid hit, we decided to change things up a bit in our family for the holidays. Instead of staying home and participating in the usual traditions, we took our three children and traveled with 12 other family members to Cancun, Mexico. We stayed at the XCaret Hotel and had an amazing time. My kids took part in zip lining (day and night), drove ATVs, swam through the natural cenotes (caves), power snorkeled and took part in an undersea adventure the likes of which I have never seen before. Sure, Christmas was different that year … it was incredibly unforgettable!

The gift of travel can be enjoyed any time of year. You can give a gift certificate to loved ones or simply let them know you’d love to take them on a wonderful vacation, where you can all spend precious time together. Here are the many reasons why travel is the gift that keeps on giving:

Travel is educational – it opens you to a world beyond your own and allows you to experience something new and unfamiliar and often times, exciting! Sure, you can read about places you’ve never been to and certainly the history around them, but wouldn’t you much rather experience them?

Travel is adventurous – Exploring a new destination can be exhilarating and often includes immersive experiences that are unique to your journey alone. Don’t you love discovering something new and coming home to share your experience with those around you? Or better yet, be the envy of all your friends and share your photos on social media. Before you know it, everyone will be talking about your latest adventure!

Travel renews us – In today’s world, there is nothing like travel to heal what ails you. Travel literally and figuratively transports us to a place of calmness and can often rejuvenate us. It gives us an excuse to unplug, sit back and take in the view. It is the fuel and the pause we need to add balance to our daily lives. And sometimes even the anticipation of that break is just as rewarding as the break itself.

Travel creates lifelong memories – Spending time with loved ones and friends deepens bonds, and shared experiences translate to shared memories. Travel is the vehicle by which connections are fostered and smiles and laughter are achieved.

Travel is easy – The thought of booking travel can sometimes be overwhelming, causing us to postpone our desired trips. Engage the services of a travel consultant and watch the worry disappear as they shoulder all the details of your journey and enhance the vacation into something beyond your expectations.

Sure, you can buy your kids or grandkids a new sweater or sneakers this year for the holidays, but wouldn’t they rather spend time exploring a new destination together with you? Collect moments, not things. I guarantee you will remember the trip you took far more than the item you purchased or received for a holiday.

And as far as the joy scale is concerned, I’m willing to bet your vacation with your loved ones gets a big, fat 10!

by Kerry Tice

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my parents “gifted” my siblings and our children several family cruises. i treasure the memories and often recall all the laughs we had. truly priceless. i’m onboard with collecting moments vs things!

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