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January 15, 2013

Why the two week trip matters

A young friend of mine is posting elated pictures from Amsterdam, and two days later, from Dubai. She’s just graduated from Berklee School of Music in Boston, no slouch accomplishment, and she’s treating herself to a couple of weeks of travel. The joy in her journey is palpable in the photos she’s posting. Of course she’s meeting people who are on a three month walk about and proud of that, and folks 9 months into their gap year who are smug, but I think her two week foray is wonderful.

For lots of people, long term travel is something that grows slowly. The idea of vagabonding is a gentle unfolding that begins with a new backpack, a solid RTW ticket paid for up front and hotels in safe districts booked weeks in advance. For some folks, getting out of their state for two weeks is seriously outside the box and a grand scale adventure. Taking that first two week trip after college, or making the most of that precious vacation time is the definition of their wildest dream. It is in the living out loud of those small bites of freedom that their dreams grow, they meet people who stretch their paradigm and the door to the great big world swings wide.

We shouldn’t discourage, or deride the two week travelers. In fact, they should be applauded and encouraged whole heartedly. A months long, RTW journey isn’t the only way to travel in a way that is valuable to the soul. If more people would take that two weeks and do something that mattered, to them personally, or to an organization they believe in, or to folks they’ve never met but have read about on a blog they follow, the world would be a better place.

It is in those two week chunks that eyes are opened, compassion is developed, dreams are kindled, boxes are stretched, glass houses are shattered and kids who’ve grown into adults with no sense of themselves in the bigger picture are brought to their knees at the abject joy and wonder of the world and the commonalities that run like threads between humanity on every corner of the planet.

 If two weeks is all you’ve got, and a resort is the edge of your comfort zone, I say, “GO!” Do all you can do, and you’ll come back finding that you can actually do a little more. If you’re already vagabonding, come out in support of the “little guy” and celebrate every attempt to live in the world, every heart that dares to brave the unknown, and every adventure in the making. Two weeks matters, and it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Posted by | Comments (10) 
Category: General, On The Road, Vagabonding Life


10 Responses to “Why the two week trip matters”

  1. rubin pham Says:

    i have traveled part of the world 2 weeks at a time.

  2. Jennifer Miller Says:

    rubin… good for you! Keep at it!

  3. Rose Townsend Says:

    This is so beautifully written. There are so many quotable lines. My favorites are, ” It is in the living out loud of those small bites of freedom that their dreams grow, they meet people who stretch their paradigm and the door to the great big world swings wide.” and “It is in those two week chunks that eyes are opened, compassion is developed, dreams are kindled, boxes are stretched, glass houses are shattered and kids who’ve grown into adults with no sense of themselves in the bigger picture are brought to their knees at the abject joy and wonder of the world and the commonalities that run like threads between humanity on every corner of the planet.” Absolutely beautiful, brought tears to my eyes! Very inspiring for those of us who are still limited in how much we can travel. Every experience, no matter how close to home or short in duration can be life changing. Thank you so much for explaining this idea with such moving words!

  4. Roger Says:

    It never even occured to me that travel outside of the USA was rewarding until I was twenty-years old. That was back way before the Internet, and there wasn’t a lot of encouraging interest groups and information to promote the idea of foreign travel that I recall. It was sort of a secret that one stumbled upon almost by accident. If I hadn’t been exposed to the right people in college, I might never have ventured outside of our borders, and I would be a completely different person. There are so many wonderful avenues to promote travel today, but at the same time, the work/productivity infastructure is so unaccommodating to time off for travel.

  5. Tracy Antonioli Says:

    This post makes me want to stand up and cheer; or, perhaps, read it aloud from the rooftop. Thank you for this.

    As a travel blogger who also has a full time job, I often encounter the attitude that I can’t possibly be a ‘real’ traveler. But in my opinion (which is quite humble) I do travel like most of the world–whenever I can get the time off. It is frequently in shorter chunks, but when you add up those little chunks, well, I do get around quite a bit.

    And you’re right–two weeks IS a hell of a lot better than nothing!

  6. Deb Says:

    Thank you for this :) My son is 15 and has Autism. He does not like to be away from home for too long. Even if it is for only 5 days I take any opportunity I can to travel with him. The more we travel the more confident he becomes, priceless :)

  7. GypsyGirl Says:

    @Deb, You may find some helpful information on this site: http://www.autisticglobetrotting.com/

  8. Jennifer Miller Says:

    I’ve been kinda off the grid in Indonesia the last couple of weeks and missed these comments… sorry that I didn’t reply earlier and in person. THANK YOU all for your encouraging words. Do what you can, with what (and who) you’ve got in life. Two weeks at a time! ;) Travel well.

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