This photograph of Varenna on Lake Como in Italy was taken by my 14 year old grandson, Sebastien. It was the first of many photographs taken on a 2 week dream of a family trip to Italy and Switzerland planned by my daughter, Katie and her husband, David in honor of their 20th wedding anniversary.There were five of us including--their two sons Sebastien and Ethan and the grandmother--me.
It was not only the trip of a lifetime, but for me it was the continuing affirmation that one's sense of adventure does not have to diminish when a part of your life has through loss gotten smaller.
I wrote in Above & Beyond Wellfleet that traveling to interesting and beautiful places helped to spark a renewal and recovery. I began to forge a different dream. Ten years ago, I realized that I could appreciate new vistas and cultural events alone. I missed the repartee with my favorite traveling companion--my husband--but I learned to enrich myself and be grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the world or to simply discover what a nearby neighborhood had to offer.
I have quite a bit to say about this category "travel"; I hope I will not bore you. My view is written as a widow--which I believe is such a depressing and potentially limiting word. I hate it, actually, and think it should just be reserved for spiders.
In the words I share in "Welcoming Life", I hope to blow the lid off the limiting aspects of the word "widow (and widower). Taking advantage of travel opportunities will be just one aspect of encouragement.
The past two weeks I spent with my family seeing two countries I never expected to see--Italy and Switzerland-- emphasized just how unexpectedly fortunate I am. In the past two weeks, I saw the thrill expressed by my grandchildren at seeing one of the highest mountains in the world. On my refrigerator, I see everyday the thrill of my five year old grandson catching his first fish. It just doesn't get better than that.