Lesson 3: Travel to make yourself rich.

In continuing to share the lessons we learned from our grandparents, here’s the 3rd lesson: travel to make yourself rich. This is a tough one right now in 2020, some of you might still be traveling while others are waiting it out. This holiday season travel plans look different. Or maybe they’ve just been postponed. I don’t consider myself a collector, but I do buy a Christmas ornament every time we travel. Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, our ornaments are reminders of the places we’ve been. This year, as I’m safe at home and looking at my tree, the memories of fun trips are comforting. Here’s how Bop and Gram taught us to travel.

It didn’t matter to Bop and Gram where you were going, they both were always willing to get in the car and just go!  Bop is known for his yearly trips driving from the Southern states to the Northern states. If you were lucky enough to accompany him on one of these trips, as Kevin and I were, (You can read about my road trip with him in 2010 here) you got to see so much more than the house where Bop grew up. He didn’t grow up in one house. And it didn’t matter to him. He moved around a lot, his father liked to drink and often lost his job. Bop traveled from places to stay often whenever his father lost a job.  Hearing Bop tell stories about traveling on foot with his father and always having a spot with his grandparents taught us that it’s about the journey, not the destination. In our current day lives we are bogged down with success being measured by achievement and acquisition, yet experiencing these long road trips with Bop have been worth more than any dollar amount.

Me and Bop in Canada, summer of 2010.

Gram traveled internationally, and always brought back treasures to share. Yet, she was always happy to put her grandchildren in the car and drive to her beach residence, or a few hours away so we could visit our cousins. She told us a story about tasting black caviar once on a trip to Russia with my grandfather, yet she was happy to come home and eat a tuna sandwich again. 

Times are different, and many of us do have to work and save for retirement. However, Bop and Gram didn’t compare their travels to anyone else’s. They owned their journey and shared it with others. Many of us just want to get in the car or fly on a plane and reach our end destination. Bop always had his stops planned out, and how long he wanted to spend in a certain place, but he didn’t let detours or traffic, or flat tires spoil his travel plans. Bop and Gram showed us how to stop along the road, take time to enjoy the sights, and connect with people along the way. 

2020 has been a year of less travel for our family, and even though we had plans to travel for Christmas this year which we’ve postponed, we are looking forward to getting back on a plane, in the car, and on the road again!

Wishing you SAFE travels!

Author: Kristen Hahn

Creative and passionate realist. Daughter, Sister, Wife, and Mom. I believe in the power of our mindsets, education, and being the change we wish to see in the world. We do better and find more joy when we embrace our imperfections and speak up about what we want to change.

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