Today’s Guest Blog “Travel Memories” series post is from my dear friend and fellow travel-writer, Lila Fox Ermel.
She not only runs a luxury travel agency, and writes an incredible travel blog, The Constant Tourist, but she makes many of her recommendations based on her and her husband Chad’s own amazing explorations and adventures.
Lila travels with the greatest of gusto. And I’m delighted to share with you her heartfelt essay of why one of the best things about traveling – is mailing post cards back to the waiting loved ones at home.
Take it away, Lila!
I’ve always admired the way Gina shares her love of travel with her daughter, Lulu. Incorporating travel into every aspect of her family’s lifestyle. Love it, love it. Children are such little sponges, ready to soak up every experience that is cast in front of them. For this, I’m a huge fan of exposing young children to various cultures. Whether you’re a parent or not you can share the magic and intrigue of travel with children. The simplest, coolest way that I know how is the handwritten postcard.
My grandparents were kind of non-traditional, sailing around the world in their sailboat. Growing up, my brother and I would receive postcards from their travels. We’d see them during the holidays and then they’d be off on another adventure. Some would say I missed out on a typical grandparent-grandchild relationship, but the relationship that I did have taught me from a young age that there is a big, big world out there.
As I transitioned from child to teenager, the postcards from my grandmother kept coming. They became even more special, probably because of my maturity and ability to understand the gesture. Whether she knew it or not at the time, she was fueling my desire to see the world.
So during my very first trip overseas, I remembering rounding a corner to come upon a boutique with a postcard carousel tipped out into my path as if to say, “Hello. You were looking for something?” I grabbed a stack of those cards and early the next morning, I sat in the breakfast room of our hotel next to a little open window overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In between nibbling pastries, I scribbled postcards to friends and family back home, wanting so badly to put into words what I was seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting, and experiencing. I wanted what I was writing to entice, the way that my grandmother’s words enticed me to explore faraway places.
Words can be powerful like that. That was nearly ten years ago.
Today, postcards – especially postcards to my young nieces and nephews – are just part of the deal. Also part of the deal is a special card to the grandmother that inspired me to travel in the first place.
If you have children of your own, the next time you’re all on vacation encourage them to write postcards to their friends back home. If you don’t have kids, drop a few hand-written postcards in the mail to your nieces, nephews, even your best friend’s children. It really doesn’t take much time out of your vacation, and you never know who you may be inspiring. To the point, my ten-year-old niece recently told me that she keeps the postcards I’ve sent her in a “special box.”
Enticing the next generation to explore faraway places.
Lila Fox is owner of New Orleans-based Constant Tourist Travel, a travel agency specializing in luxurious travel experiences and accommodations worldwide. Follow her on Facebook @Constant Tourist Travel & on Twitter @lilathetourist.
Thanks so much, Lila! I am sitting here at typing at my dining room table with a postcard Lulu just received from my mom – her “Gramma Sheila” – from Hawaii – where my parents spend every February. We, too, save our postcards. Such a simple thing, midst a world of tweeting, skyping and instant messaging, that can last and inspire for a life time.
And for more travel and life inspirations, give yourself – and friends!! – a smile by ordering my new book, “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me.” It’s adventures in parenting and life-overseas! Because we’re all travelers.
If you have a travel memory or philosophy to share – please write to me and submit your guest blog post at GinaLondon@gmail.com. I look forward to it!
Until next time, Baci, tutti!