The Promise of Far Away Places

When I was young I used to sit enthralled in the auditorium of my high school listening to John Goddard while staring impassioned at his slides. At the age of 15 he made a "life list" of the places in the world he wanted to explore and was fulfilling his dream. He would then share his travels with children all over America. I remember thinking to myself, "I want that job!" My own head filled with the places I wanted to see--Machu Picchu, the Great Wall, Jerusalem, Florence, the Great Barrier Reef. Our house in California was close enough to the railroad tracks for me to hear the whistle at night. What an inviting sound it was. It held the promise of far-away places as it faded into the distance. And I would dream.

Travel is in our blood! We are born with a curiosity that longs to be fulfilled in foreign lands, beautiful scenery, historical locations, distant cultures, adventure. Where ever I go, I try to connect to the land, for the land has memory and if we are still, if we listen, we can hear the voices of the past, and they will lift us with their intensity and their desire to instill in us a love and connection with all times, all places, all peoples. We are of the world and it calls to us in many voices.

Upon his return to the fields of Gettysburg, Joshua Laurence Chamberlain, the Union defender of Little Round Top, shared his musings and describes in eloquent language the reason why I love to travel--what I expect to happen each time I walk the paths of the past.

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