Despite not really preparing for Hawaii, after I was here I remembered how lovely it was to read books that take place in the location I’m in, so I downloaded a series set in Hawaii and read it.
I remember back when I traveled on a regular basis – I used to wonder if I’d look back and berate myself for spending time in far-flung locations reading books. After all, I could read anywhere so was it a waste of time?
But as the years have passed I’m amazed by how much reading plays into the memories that I hold dear. One of my favorite memories of Europe in 2014 was of reading Sherlock Holmes while waiting in the rain for five hours to see The Newschwanstein Castle. I had a couple of nearly sleepless nights in Aruba back in 2015 and I spent them devouring funny, free books on Kindle – books. I still remember the storylines and the enjoyment of knowing I was on vacation so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t sleep and so I was able to thoroughly enjoy reading. Sometimes I’ll have flashbacks of other reading adventures – being curled up in itchy wool blankets high in the mountains of Peru while reading a book by Brother Andrew in 2007, reading through the long hours of travel while going to my uncles wedding in Minnesota, and the list could go on.
Instead of books taking away from the of travel, they’ve added to it over the years. Having that added layer of memories, of sensations that take me back to the moment is a treasure that I hold dear.
And it’s not only with traveling. It’s with every day life, especially since I entered the world of audiobooks. I have so many good memories of meal prepping, cleaning the house, and even grocery shopping while listening to a story. The thought of summer now includes mowing in the hot sun while listening to a mystery or weeding the flowerbeds while far away in another world.
Nowadays instead of wondering and worrying about if I’ll regret filling my world with words and stories, I treasure the moments. Books are a gift and I’m thankful for them.