More substantive changes in one's life are in the offing as well if we are open to them. I began to photograph my adventures a long time ago. One day in a photo store where I took some slides to have printed as pictures, a woman looked over my shoulder and complimented me on my work. She encouraged me to join her camera club where I soon won a number of prizes for my photography and learned invaluable lessons about photographic technique which I sorely needed. Ever since that time, I have been an avid photographer and entered and enjoyed many competitions. More importantly, however, my photos improved considerably and brought pleasure to many interested people.
Some years ago, I retired from education and went from showing my photos and telling my stories to friends to actively marketing myself as a lecturer. Since that time, I have had the joy of sharing my journeys with countless audiences at schools, libraries, retirement communities, museums and many other venues. I set up a web site, learned far more about the internet, and developed skills with Photoshop in order to improve the photography I have been doing. All this as a byproduct of travel.
But there was still more. It almost goes without saying that I pick up the newspapers today and recognize the places where world events are taking place. I can envision these so much more clearly now and I reflect on the people I met there. My connections are palpable and rewarding. Furthermore, I have written a travel memoir, What's an American Doing Here: Reflections on Travel in the Third World, as well as the blog you are now reading. I am consulted about my friends' and relatives' travel plans on a regular basis and have enjoyed being helpful in my responses. All these developments have enriched my life immeasurably. Travel has been good for me--worth every single effort along the way.
Fisherman's Monument, Mazatlan, Mexico