1. chrisd says:

    This would make an excellent speculative story. 

    I never thought about how it must be to meet the people you’ve only met as pen-pals/online friends. The sweet is always tempered with bitter at good byes and not-enough-time.  But Grace, what an opportunity! It is something most of us only dream of doing.

    Be safe and have fun! 

    • Speculative story? How do you mean? My wheels are spinning, but not yet gripping… please elaborate!

      I don’t know why it is given to me to do this travel thing. It’s humbling; maybe I’m just stubborn.  But I treasure it highly – it does tend to make the experience that much more intense as every moment is lived in full awareness that the time must end. Good training for a writer, anyway.

  2. Galadriel says:

    I’ve only met one of my online friends in person, and regularly snail-mail the other. I want to met some of them so much.

  3. Jeff Chapman says:

    I suspect your trip will generate memories that you can live on for years and the friendships will be closer for the brief but shared experiences. And I’m so impressed that you continue to work as you travel.

    • That’s very true, Jeff. My soul will drink from these waters for a long time to come. As for the continued work, call it the result of homeschooling followed by freelancing: I can do it anywhere, anytime, and I do!

  4. Brenda Ri says:

    Grace, you wrote with such tenderness and fullness of heart that it moved me very much. Like all things in life, we move on or they move on.  The fond memories stay forever in our hearts so we learn to enjoy the moment as it unfurls.  As you add these bits and pieces of your friends’ characters into your writings, you immortalize us and bring us a deeper sense of connection with you. 
    Bon courage, my friend, and keep up the good work! Happy trials to you!

  5. Beautifully put, Grace! Sharing this with a friend who is planning a traveling adventure… I think it will resonate.

  6. Being said friend of Teddi’s (see comment above), it indeed resonates. We have sold our home, moved outside the circle of convenient with plans in the near horizon to travel far away. It is a strange dichotomy. I yearn for the adventure and can only imagine what sights and experiences await. But I realize I cannot take those who fill my heart with me. There will be no meeting for hikes or dinner or writer’s meetings. No face to face. And that’s where I find myself living in a polar world. A burning flame of excitement, surrounded with a shroud of sorrow. Thank you, Grace, for sharing your experience. Maybe I’m not as crazy as I feel half the time. 

    • Good to meet you, Rebecca! Opposites, polarities, dichotomy. These words express separation, but can become circularity if we let them, where everything is linked together again. You’re definitely not crazy!

  7. Celidus says:

    Grace, very nice piece. Although I have a hard time relating. I am the exact opposite. Exact. I can’t travel. CAN’T travel. I have missed the meeting of many potential friends. The closeness of relatives I may very well never see again. Experiences I will never get to enjoy.

    I have a phobia that doesn’t allow me to travel more than one hundred miles away or so. I nearly missed my daughters graduation from college. I’ve always want to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, New Orleans during Mardi Gras , see my relatives in Florida, visit Ireland where my ancestors were born. But I can’t do any of those things.

    I work 65 miles away from home and have to travel that every day. Some days I feel like I just can’t do it. If it were any farther away than it is I know I couldn’t do it.

    It’s a strange phobia, this. But to me it’s debilitating.  Whenever I begin to travel, and I know it is more than a couple hours away, my stomach begins to tighten, my heart races, I break into a cold sweat and, eventually, go in to a full on anxiety attack. I’m like a caged tiger that can’t escape.

    My daughter took a trip to Hungary a few years ago for college and when she returned she had a ton of photos she took. We all gathered at her grandparents one evening to watch them as slides. It was a fun evening. Until… When she got to the last photo it was a shot of her looking out the plane window (a classmate took it) with the wing of the aircraft in view with the clouds and ocean just beyond it. 

    My stomach tightened, my heart raced, I began to sweat… I vomited. And this was just a PICTURE of flying.

    I tell you this story about me so you have a reference point of where you find yourself when you travel. You’re not over reacting, you’re feeling emotional. You hate to leave friends but at least you CAN see them. You are sometimes afraid to travel, but so much that it paralyzes you.

    Enjoy your travels. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy the sights and sounds. And when you’re thinking you’re over reacting, or being too emotional, or being too scared. Think of that guy in upstate NY who can barely make it to work in the morning and who will never see any of the excitement and wonder the world has to offer. Or to see friends or family that have moved away.

    Good luck and good writing and have fun!


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