As we began planning our next to trip to Puerto Vallarta one of the first things I knew I needed to do was get my passport. I had taken cruises in the Caribbean a couple of times but this would be our first trip outside the U.S. since requiring passports for all non domestic travel. I have to say that I was beyond excited about the thought of having a passport of my very own. It is like having a special key that I can now use to unlock countless adventures.
The process of getting our passports was very easy. We simply filled out the form that we printed off from the website and took it with us to a local post office.
The postal worker verified our information, took our picture and our money and that was it. In just a few weeks we received our passports in the mail and I will admit I did a happy dance when they arrived.
Since I had waited 44 years to become a world traveler I wanted to make it extra special. I began looking for passport covers that reflected my love for travel. I finally found what I wanted on Etsy.
The inscription on my passport cover reads ‘I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list’ and I love it! The places I’ve been lucky enough to visit have been great, but I want to see more! This is a big old world that is just begging to share it’s beauty with me and I plan on answering the call!
As I think about traveling one thing that is never far from my thoughts is my mom. She passed away much too young and was never able to see or do so many of the things I have experienced. I often wonder if she was content and did not have the wanderlust that I have or was it that she made the mistake so many do and thought there would be more time later.
Either way, it makes my heart hurt when I think of all of the memories we weren’t able to share. Big things like the births of her 2 youngest grandchildren and her oldest granddaughter’s wedding but also the every day things that we often take for granted. The things that always seem a little incomplete without her here.
Mom’s are always helping their kids learn important life lessons and my mom continues to teach me even now. I recognize how important family is, how much love matters and how short this life can be. Whatever time we have should be spent truly LIVING!
Another lesson I’ve learned is how important it is to take pictures with your loved ones. When I was growing up we only took out the camera on special occasions and often times it was my mom behind the camera so I have precious few pictures of my mom and even fewer still of us together. So while it may seem silly to take selfies with my husband all of the time, they are more than just pictures. They are mementos of times spent together. They are evidence of lives being lived.
One of my favorite things we did while in Oahu for our 25th Anniversary was have a professional photography session. We splurged and did the sunset photo option. It was beautiful and having someone else taking the pictures enabled us to really focus on each other and it was truly magical.
So while I am looking forward to seeing all of the sights on our Puerto Vallarta vacation, what I’m really interested in is the people I will be taking this adventure with. The moments we will share. The memories we will make and take with us for the rest of our lives. I will also be thinking of the ones who will be with us on this trip in spirit only. The ones whose memory I hope to honor by living my life to it’s fullest, loving with all of my heart and building a legacy of family and faith. So in the meantime I will dream of sunny beaches and warm breezes and just keep collecting memories as I go.