A record number of people traveled this past holiday season.

🦃 I was one of them. 🎄 

Travel takes hours, weeks, sometimes months to plan. And yet, there are surprises on the road to almost every destination. Finally, once the fun is over, the weary traveler must find his way home. ✈️

After my flight from Duluth to Orlando was canceled TWICE due to dense fog, I booked a van to the Minneapolis airport. 

These days, airports encourage passengers to use self-check-in kiosks. They expect frazzled travelers to print out and apply their own sticky bag tags. The first time, the process is confusing. Especially early in the morning.

After joining another queue to drop off my bag, I chatted with a young girl. Suddenly, I realized she didn’t have a bag. I said, “You’re in the wrong line.” She looked stricken. Even the young are mystified by the complexities of travel.

Once through security, I took a calming breath. Breakfast in the Delta Sky Club awaited.

Finally, on the airplane, I settled in with a book. 

On any given flight, there are the inevitable announcements and delays:

All was forgiven when I got upgraded to first class. 😃

I’ve taken trains, buses, boats throughout Europe and Scandinavia. Some excursions ricocheted over treacherous waves. On one nauseating Nordic crossing, the crew encouraged everyone to suck on salted licorice. (Yuck! But it worked!)

Sometimes everything falls into place. Amsterdam 2022—a flawless vacation. My son and I toured museums, climbed a windmill, and enjoyed a klomp-making demonstration.

Our stay in Zandvoort, North Holland, provided unforgettable breakfasts on the beach of the North Sea. Witnessing Max Verstappen win the Formula 1 race in his home country was incredible!

During perfect vacations, I still long for my own bed.

Ordinary day trips can also be memorable. Years ago, I talked my new husband into walking to his childhood home in the country. I bicycled from town several times and it only took 45 minutes.

🦶🏻🦶🏻How long could it take to walk? 🦶🏻🦶🏻

I cried the last mile. I survived by eating my way through a backpack of pickled herring and Twinkies. Cell phones were in the distant future. No one came to the rescue. I practically crawled up the steps of my in-law’s house.

I travel because I can. One day, age, illness, or unforeseen circumstances will keep me home. Then, I will put away my passport and retire my beat-up luggage tags. I’ll anticipate the ultimate destination—my heavenly home.

When I need a reminder of what’s truly important, I listen to Weary Traveler by Jordan St. Cyr and the story behind the song. 

An airplane flew over my bathroom skylight. I looked up and smiled. My next adventure is booked.

California here I come!

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