As 2020 closes, I’m aware that since February, my travel has only extended 25 miles from my home, and the local market’s international aisle is the closest I’ve come to tasting foreign cuisine. Today, lost in contemplation over future adventures, I pulled out last year’s travel journal. As I opened it, the above post card I’d written to myself from New Zealand stared back at me. Postmarked, October 17, 2019, it read:

Welcome home! This year stretched you, healed you and made you aware of what’s possible.
Step into your future with love, joy and confidence. Love, Kate

I mailed this card from a small post office around the corner from the Hardware Café outside of Auckland. When I posted it, I had yet to understand its full significance. A few days later, we flew to Perth, Australia, for a week with friends before flying home. Once home, we savored the holidays with family and friends and used January to regroup. We were just beginning to wonder where in the world we’d travel next when the pandemic unraveled, and restrictions set in.

Today, as I think about that odyssey and others over the years, it’s the who more than where that elevates the adventure. We saw the beauty of New Zealand through Caryn’s eyes. And we experienced glorious beaches and spectacular landscapes of Western Australia through the hearts of Elaine and Steve. My photographs of every trip remind me that friends and fellow travelers, what we did and said, chance encounters with strangers and synchronicities are the treasures of travel.

I’ll step forward in the new year with love, joy and confidence, adding a deep appreciation for your company on this adventure called life. Thank you for your presence, the greatest gift.

Note to Self: If a flightless bird attempts to make wings…what might I try? Rethink what is possible!

Artwork by Nick Eggleston, New Zealand