Gratitude and Joy, Travel

Day 287 – A Year of Gratitude and Joy – Experience

There’s a lot to be said for academic successes, but anyone who’s ever spent time in a real job will tell you that what you learned in books often barely scrapes the surface of what you need to know to succeed in life. It’s the experiences you have that bring you the best return on investment.

Travel is one of the best ways to gain experience. I am immensely grateful for growing up the way I did. With a dad in the Air Force, we moved often. While I missed out on living in the same town, I made up for it by seeing this nation and many parts of the world.

Family camping in Europe as teens is a memory I’ll never forget.

Those travels have taught me that no matter where you go in the world, people are essentially the same. We all get up in the morning, value a good meal and cherish the little things in life. I have dozens (perhaps hundreds) of fun, joy-filled memories of the things I’ve seen and experienced.

Having the Pope bless my baby daughter is definitely a joy-filled memory

But it’s not just the good things that benefit us. Getting through the bad experiences has, arguably, even more value. After all, we learn how to cope with adversity and struggle when we live it more deeply than when we hear or read about it. When someone tells you about having to make do with no luggage on a horseback riding adventure, you imagine the challenge and perhaps laugh a little at the inconvenience. But when you’ve lived it, you know the struggle and it teaches you an important and unforgettable lesson about packing a few essentials in your carry-on.

Because we were on the move every day, it took three days for our luggage to find us.

Getting to the end of the day with blisters on both feet and aching muscles from bad shoes and a lack of preparation teaches you about planning and building recovery time into your vacation so you have time to relax and enjoy yourself instead of doing so much you can barely remember where you were or what you saw.

We learned the hard way the importance of taking a break.

Something as simple as walking into a meeting drenched by rain teaches you about checking the weather and keeping an umbrella handy in your desk so that when you need it, it’s there.

An umbrella can save your look when that’s important. (Photo:

Perhaps the best experiences are the ones that are challenging, not only for the lesson, but for the great story you get to share and, hopefully, laugh about with friends.

Sometimes the best stories come from the toughest days.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Learn from your experiences.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2022 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

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