Be happy, not because everything is perfect, but because you chose to focus on the perfect moments.

Roughly 400 years ago, William Shakespeare wrote “The Merchant of Venice” where Portia, a woman posing as a male lawyer (history’s first liberated woman?), utters the following dialogue about mercy.  She explained, “The quality of mercy is not strained.  It is twice blessed.  It blesses both the giver and the receiver………. “

Ok, I read the play in high school or college.  I forget which.  And is this column about mercy?  Actually, it isn’t.  It’s about travel, as the title suggests.  While my readers may be justifiably puzzled at this point, hang with me.  I’ll get someplace useful, eventually.

On to the blessings of travel.  Simply stated, I look forward to it.  The “it” in this narrative may be a visit to our children and grandchildren.  Or “it” may be a venture to a new, unvisited locale somewhere in the USA, or elsewhere..   The destination, either new or familiar, always elicits the same response.

I am always happy to be leaving my home and am always glad to be returning to it.  Reflecting on Portia’s message to the revenge-seeking Shylock, the experience of travel, like the quality of mercy, is twice blessed.

So, how do you view your travel experiences?  Do you lust for a few days of vacation as you cross days off the calendar at your despised place of employment?   Or do you avoid any new (travel) ventures, grumbling about mandated mask-wearing, long TSA lines, and lumpy mattresses at overpriced lodgings?

In either case, my unhappy reader has something missing, not with travel, but with life in general.  Going back to the previous paragraph, the worker who lives from vacation to vacation probably needs a different job, or an attitude adjustment about the current one.  Or the perpetually discontented traveller should ask him/herself how much royalty might have paid to view the Earth from seven miles up, 150 years ago.

In my view, if we can’t find some joy, comfort, or pleasure in the “comings and goings” of our lives, one of those two “directions” bears further examination and course direction.

Look closely at each of them.

Contentment is the greatest form of wealth.