Iceland...and a Fortunate 40!
Big Birthdays, New Adventures & Cherished Friends!
Thanks to my dear friends Dan & YSY for sharing this journey and birthday with me! It is all the more special to share and retell our travel stories together. My wise grandfather always said, "Make great memories - they are all you take with you when you go." I am grateful to have these memories with you - and look forward to the next ones we create!
It all started at 21. While most people can't remember much of this significant birthday milestone, mine was surprisingly unforgettable. We celebrated in Rome during a study abroad program and, while experiencing everything from the Colosseum to the Cupola of St. Peter's and seeing Pope John Paul II live in St. Peter's square, a pact was made that big birthdays would always bring with them a new, international adventure.
And, 19 years later and thanks to lifelong friends that continue to support this exciting tradition - I began my 40th year in Iceland with Dan and Young-Sun Roth. Once again, struck and in love with letting go of the norm and experiencing a sense of place and people that expands what I know and connects me to the world in a much deeper and greater way.
I can't completely put it into the right words, but there is something about making a choice to go somewhere new and different - any place that takes you away from what is normal and known - and gives you permission to be new at something, discovering people and places with an openness that can often get ignored in the comfort of day to day life.
It's almost as if it's easier to engage in stories where you cannot predict the plot or context. And, discussions feel more meaningful when you are representing your culture as well as yourself. Expectations and pre-judgements fade as you know that the people you meet and the places you encounter (at whatever lengths) should be different, right?! So you may be more understanding and open to these differences and even seek them out - only to realize we are way more connected and similar than we ever imagined!
It doesn't take much...other than a choice to do something new and different. So, go explore something! Whether it's a restaurant or park across town, a new city in a new state, or a country that has called you - the beauty and energy of this world is ours to create and to share. Enjoy!