All around us in this world are amazingly beautiful things. They can be found in your home, your backyard or across the world. I've been traveling for a few days and I've seen many beautiful things that I've never before experienced.
While on this journey I've also seen many ugly things. Things that carry such heartache and sorrow in my soul.
I think that's the "real" part of traveling. Sure the endless excuses to eat all the junk food in the world and spend a ridiculous amount of money on souvenirs is exciting but, the "real" journey is seeing past all of that.

When I travel I don't go to chain restaurants, I don't do things I could normally do at home (ie: see a movie). I try to embrace the culture that is around me. Open my heart, mind and soul to the people, places and things that surround me in this new place.
I've been fortunate enough to have done some great traveling. I haven't done much but what I've done has shown me some marvelous places. Cape Cod with my best girlfriend right before my wedding, Mexico with my Grandma right when I turned 18 and my long term (4 year) high school boyfriend wanted to break up (devastation at 18, now not so much), South Carolina so I could see the truth in someones eyes, a driving trip from Illinois to Texas and back on my honeymoon.
There is so much more I want to see in this world. And as I've embarked on my most recent journey I've been struck by how much ugly there is in the world right now.
The economic climate in this country is crippling. There is more damage that I think can ever be corrected. I look around and see a beautiful landscape, gorgeous, simply breathtaking and awe inspiring locations. And then I look closer, I breathe it in. I'm overwhelmed by sadness, desperation and a hole in my soul begins to form.
I don't have the answers to the problems that all of us are facing now, God how I wish I did. But, I do have an open heart, an open mind, and open arms.
I want to help every person I've seen today that is in such need but alas, I cannot. I'm only one person. But I'm going to smile a little brighter, cringe a little less at the smell and take my leftovers to go because I know there is going to be someone on the street that would welcome that half eaten plate of food.
So, tomorrow as I continue my journey, I'm going to smile, laugh, cry, and embrace my surroundings.
I'm not sure what weighs heaviest on me tonight, the longing for my family or the longing for the prosperity that once was this country.
To my husband and my daughter, I miss you terribly.

Edit- I am very much enjoying my trip. I don't want to sound doom and gloom. I've having lots of fun but the sadness is always what creeps in at the end of the day.

Anonymous –   – (May 15, 2010 at 11:19 AM)  

I didn't know they made restaurants (this word never looks right) out of chains.


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