Friends, as in, the people in our lives who we are lucky to have met. A big focus of our trip has been the places we have visited, sites we have seen and things we have done. The greatest of all has been the people we have visited. So many friends and relatives have opened their homes and invited my family, “Thank you” is woefully inadequate to express our appreciation.
We have had the privilege to stay with over 2 two dozen friends. Our trip has certainly taught us gratitude as we could offer nothing in return save for a smile and maybe a story from our most recent adventure. I recently came across the following quote:
True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s being separated and nothing changes
I will admit, it was not always easy. Often so many years had gone by that I would doubt friends would really want to be bothered with putting up a family of six. Some of my notes or calls to friends did go unanswered. Clearly there were many more friends who said, “Come whenever.” There are many friends who contacted me and said, “If you come this way, you have a friend waiting for you.” I would encourage everyone who finds themselves travelling through another place to look up an old friend.
I would be remiss to not thank my parents who contacted many of their friends and put them on alert that their daughter and family were coming through. Many of these friends responded positively without having me us. Even now we are staying in the home of one of their friends who are currently out of town with their relatives. It has been very convenient. Today, another neighbor of theirs took us all on their boat to tour Estero Bay and the Gulf. Our final day of 2013 has been spent with family, friends enjoying the gorgeous coastline of Florida. And the children all got the chance to drive the boat.
Our entire trip could not have happened without the help of others. Our colleagues keep in touch with us so we are not out of the loop with our jobs. Hometown friends keep us motivated with friendly notes along our way. In preparation we had help through friends finding people to stay in our home Many people suggested places for us to visit and things we needed to bring. We have been the beneficiaries of the generosity of so many. This will forever put us on alert to ways we can similarly give to others in the future.