After being away from home-base for a few weeks or more, it's always tough for us to transition back. A month's worth of piled up mail to catch up on is enough to drive us mad and is not something we look forward to as we prepare to head home. Ugh. After being in Kauai, though, we were sort of floating. Our transition was kind of a blur.
Merry Christmas to us.
The day before leaving, our guests in Kauai had surprised us with a last-minute helicopter ride. The ride took us to every corner of the island. We saw the Grand Canyon-like Waimea area and the rugged Napali Coast from a whole new vantage point. It was awesome to see the places we had hiked and swam from far above. The island made so much more sense.
So, when we jumped on the airplane bound for SEA, we were out of touch with reality. We were buzzing about "living the life" as we took mental trips down memory lane - Kauai edition.
Really, who writes letters any more.
Going through that mountainous stack of mail back at home, something jolted us back to the here and now. Amidst all of the junk, we saw a letter poking out. It was a letter from the girl we sponsor in Africa. (If you don't know the scoop on that, head on over here.) The letters are rare, so it's always exciting to find one waiting in the mail. Besides, who receives hand-written letters anymore. It's fantastic.
This letter was particularly heartwarming. It was the first one that Ailess had written herself. Being as she is 12, that may seem strange. Truth is, though, that she's way ahead of her peers in the shantytown. When you live in a shack and your family worries about AIDS and putting food on the table, education is a luxury that doesn't get much attention. That's poor poor, as Oprah says.
The real deal.
A few years ago, we reached out to Ailess, her family and even the community because we believe that, as world citizens, we're all connected. A "what's good for you is good for me" sort of thing. We think about all of these people – our friends that we came to know during our visit to Zambia – often. We know they've got it tough, so we use their harsh reality as motivation to live a No Vacation Required live. With all the luxuries we enjoy simply because we were born in the USA,we owe it to them.
We're still spun up about Kauai and that ridonkulous helicopter ride. Back in the real world, our inspiration comes from the fact that we are lucky to live the life we live - to be able to see the things we see, to go the places we go and to make the decisions we make. To have true FREEDOM.
That alone makes it worth striving for a dream day every day, and it's what we're thankful for as 2010 draws to a close.
What about you... What are you thankful for as we head into 2011?