By Marcella Simmons
I love to travel with my family especially my grand children. I am searching for something – just not sure what yet. When my children were younger – long before the thought of grandchildren, we rarely ever took family trips. Different husband, different time frame and different lifestyle played a major role in every thing we did. We rarely had enough money to meet our needs, pay our bills and buy food let alone take a vacation. Had it not been for food stamps my children would have went to bed hungry many nights.
All that changed drastically after my divorce many years ago. I worked two jobs and my children were rarely ever without decent clothes or shoes and we were never hungry. During the years I raised six of my eight children without an ounce of state support or child support, let alone food stamps. We bought a decent house on an acre of land, drove a decent car and we went on vacation not once but sometimes twice a year.
Now, the kids are all grown and there are thirteen grand children. Some are grown now, and have went off to the Navy or off to college. The older grand kids traveled with me many summers in my search for whatever it was, and now there are the younger kids. They too are traveling with me now on a regular basis, two and three times a year on my journey.
My motto has always been, “When I grow up, I want to be a travel writer.” In my search while on my traveling journeys with the grand kids, is this what I need to look into now? Is becoming a travel writer my destiny? I am in my late fifties now and have had a lot of articles published over the years. But writing has been shoved to the back burner off and on throughout the years because I simply haven’t been successful with it and earned very little money. And working two jobs didn’t leave much room for writing. Being semi-retired now, it is time to start my travel search again and see where it takes me – this time as a travel writer. Is this what I want or need? Or is it one of those spur of the moment ideas that will be abandoned once the newness wears off or is it just a whimsical idea that will vanish like the wind once we leave for vacation?
There is no correct answer yet because I don’t myself. Knowing how to write isn’t the problem. Getting published isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s discipline or ‘lack there of’ that has been the hold up the entire time. Who knows? Disciplining myself to write everyday these days is as hard as dieting. I find it so hard to eat right anymore, exercise or write. Keeping a clean house is even harder than it use to be.
My mind is made up. I need to find my connection between writing and traveling, learn to understand what my yearnings are and what I am searching for on my traveling journeys, and discipline myself to write about my journeys, my quest for whatever I am searching for and whatever is out there. No more ‘drawer stuffing of my travel stories’ and no more excuses of why I can’t write. I am all grown up now and it’s time to take the challenge before me and start writing travel stories. My success depends on my – the only thing standing between me and finding the answers to my search above is to travel more and write more. Somewhere there is a connection and I will find it. If it’s a family thing or a longing for adventure or just relaxation, then it’s me who has to do it. It’s me who has to find the answers to my search and write about it.
Soon we’ll be traveling to new destinations with some of the younger grand kids since summer vacation is coming up, and I have committed myself to write several travel articles while we are away. A local newspaper editor who is familiar with my work has agreed to publish my travel stories when she has free space so right now I am comfortable knowing my work has a home. It won’t pay well but my work will be published nevertheless.
What on earth am I searching for? Not sure yet but I’ll let you know when I find it…
Want something to write about? Write an essay about a trip you took which you were in search of something— a family connection, relaxation, or an adventure? What did you find? Was it all that you expected? If you could take the trip over again, what would you do differently? Would you go back? Details, details, details…