Travels helps me count my blessings. After a full night of sleep, I woke up this morning feeling so grateful. Grateful for the chance to travel and learn about different cultures, and grateful to live in the U.S. and call it home. Sarajevo is a sad city, plagued by geographic isolation, the legacy of the war and communism, poor health of the people (70% of them smoke), and a true lack of opportunity. Budapest is bustling, thriving, and full of life. The two are in such stark contrast to one another and couldn’t have been more different.
And then I landed at Washington National airport, and my eyes opened up even wider. We are so lucky here. We have everything we need to build a good life for ourselves. Certainly our country has problems and challenges and its own wounds that need tending and healing. What we do have is possibility and potential. And while potential alone can’t get things done, it does provide the fuel we can use to build something beautiful and meaningful.
Travel is a gift that keeps on giving. It gives us empathy and understanding for cultures not our own, and then it also helps us appreciate what we have at home in our everyday lives. It’s a realization I hope I never lose.