The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust
True enough, but sometimes seeing new landscapes in the company of new people gives us – or lets us borrow – new eyes.
I wasn’t a world traveler when I was young. I got my first passport 13 years ago. Since then I’ve shaken the Denver dust off my feet and headed out for foreign places eight times. Six of those trips were to England, mostly London. Last year I went to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Peru.
Last week I met up with four of my fellow travelers from the ANZ (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji) trip. We spent 26 days together on that escorted tour, and had stayed in touch by email since then as we live in different places. As we laughed and ate lunch and adjourned to look at pictures in albums and on DVDs, I was struck again by the truth of our tour director’s comment on our first day together. He noted that there were 47 of us – the 46 group members and himself. And we would be taking 47 different journeys, together.
Last Friday, my fellow travelers - and now friends – several times mentioned things I’d forgotten. Not just details of what we’d seen but some of the funny things that happened along the way. I’m lucky to have traveled with so many people who really enjoyed the journey and were so much fun, then and now.
Although I take my same old eyes along, I’m enriched by sharing what my fellow travelers’ eyes take in.
I’ll find out more about this in December. I’ve just booked a 14-day trip to Thailand. Also in our group (this time a max of 16 instead of a 40+ contingent): two of my fellow travelers from the ANZ trip. Not some of the bunch I met up with last Friday – two others I’ve kept up with by email, and am happy to travel with again.