It’s been well over a year since most of us have travelled beyond our own town, city let alone our own Country.

I’ve missed travelling.
I’ve missed seeing places I’d only read about in books.
I’ve missed connecting with family and friends.
I’ve missed exploring beyond where I live.
I’ve missed the anticipation, the excitement, the adventure, the learning.
I’ve missed the making of memories of it all.

My last ‘trip’ was to the Netherlands to visit family of my late husband, Hans van der Werff.
It was a bittersweet trip where my camera captured images of windmills, tulips, cobblestone streets, picturesque villages, family birthday parties, historic buildings and oh, so much more.
And where my heart captured images of previous visits, grief, beauty and healing.

This past year, travel has continued – in spite of the pandemic.
Travel happened in front of my computer on ZOOM.
I’ve zoom-travelled to India and Japan, Croatia and China, Russia and Australia, Singapore as well as many provinces in Canada and states in the United States.
I’ve zoom-travelled with one or two others and zoom-travelled with many others – taking classes, visiting museums, experiencing European cities.
I’ve zoom-travelled to listen to speeches, to exercise, to take classes and workshops.
It’s been quite the year of travel!

And the cost?
That’s it.
Just ‘time’.

I’ve not filled the gas tank – haven’t stood in lines at the airport – didn’t need to go through security – wasn’t frustrated when travel arrangements were changed.

I slept in my own bed – ate my own food – got up from the computer and made a hot cuppa.
I’ve learned a lot.
Seen a lot.
Made new friends.
Developed new interests.
Uncovered hidden dreams of exploring the streets of Paris and Venice becoming real.
I’ve become familiar with different time zones – discovered accents I didn’t know existed – gone on a safari and oh, so much more.

Medieval scholar, writer and traveler (travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history), Ibn Battuta wrote: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a storyteller.”

When I have travelled to and worked in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Uganda, as well as various parts of Canada, the United States and Europe, I was left ‘speechless” and the memories of the experiences of those trips continue to bring blessings my way.
Stories – oh the stories I could tell. 🙂

The same thing has happened since I’ve been zoom-travelling … blessing upon blessing, making memories.
And yes, stories – oh the stories I could tell.

Until I find it safe to travel beyond my own province/country, I’ll be very grateful for and content with, zoom-travel. This week, I am travelling to a four day international conference – via zoom.
I suspect that when it is all over, I will have stories to tell. 🙂

Ibn Battuta was right
… when we travel, we are left speechless
… and we have stories to tell. 🙂

© June Maffin