When I was a little girl, I kept a small greeting card inside a plexiglass frame beside my bed. The beautiful hand-illustrated cover depicted a smiling girl in a neatly pressed gingham dress standing guard, suitcase in hand ready for adventure. The caption below announced her departure and my mood—“Running Away.”
This little girl was the heroine of my travel warrior dreams. Her tiny suitcase symbolized a sword to slay travel dragons; her defiant stance a silent predictor of unspoken adventures ahead. Travel is a runaway place, she whispered to me. Her eyes opened mine wide.
The suitcase girl was my peace sign and poster child. She blew travel smoke rings signaling when it was time to run away. The places of wonder and escape she promised we would see course through my travel veins to this day. I fall back and forward in a blissful rhythm picturing her— the wonder of her sure gaze reminds me, travel is sleep awakened. The globe is one place with many stops. She sang to me; there is no better classroom on earth than travel.
The love of travel is something profoundly individual, deep, and spiritual in each of us. Travel changes views and viewpoints. With a single turn of the travel knob, old discovers new. Home is a moving target and a temporary shelter to breathe fresh air into new geography, culture, people, politics—moving stories that remain in us long after we leave.
Travel is soul food. A reset, reboot, return, and stay—until it is time to leave again. It is a nothing and everything space in the ever-changing world inside the human globe. Like tides of the ocean, travel is an ebb and flow synchronized with my spirit, flowing freely to and from wherever spirit resides. My torn world is what travel sews back together. Deliverance lost and found.
The little girl and I have since become one. The traveler’s notebook, our secret weapon records a kaleidoscope of dreamy images marking real points of arrival and departure. From the wonder etched in her eyes to the yearning sketched in mine, we circle the globe together in search for Truth.
Meena Ariagno is a leadership consultant and executive coach based in Michigan. Her artisan Conversation Lab process offers mindful strategic coaching and mentoring for 21st-century leaders. Some of her favorite lost and found diversions include globetrotting, writing, and sampling culinary genius. Meena has been an Inspirato member since 2014.