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What I Learned On My Last Trip Home

It’s December, though you wouldn’t know it here in North Carolina until you see all the Christmas decorations.  The snow-blanketed Christmases of my youth have been replaced by sunny and 50ºF.  I’m not complaining.   For my family (wife, dog, me) December means travel time — preparation, planning, packing, and I’m sure a whole host of other things beginning with a “p.”

This year I found myself reflecting on my trip home last December.  It wasn’t monumental or life-changing, but a few days after I returned to Carolina I felt compelled to write a list of things I learned during the trip home.  Some of them were real-world reinforcements of the blatantly obvious, some were things I knew but didn’t know, some hit me like a ton of bricks.  All were poignant.   Today I share that list with you.

Dublin and Casey are great travellers

My family out on the road

Nine things I learned during my trip home.

  1. Need to play offense to create growth.  Defense, while necessary, doesn’t move you down the field of life (yes, I learned a lesson from the anemic Kansas City Chiefs offense).  I’m committed to forward progression, so I need to be seeking out new opportunities for growth.
  2. Life is all about relationships and experiences.  Nurture old and new relationships and seek out new experiences.  This is how you live.
  3. I need a mentor and I need to be a mentor.  If I am to reach further, it will only happen by standing on the shoulders of giants.  I also have a responsibility to invest in those coming after me (thanks little bro).
  4. Shortcomings/vices grow exponentially through life.  If you don’t overcome them, they’ll control you.
  5. If you are not living in the present you cannot learn the lessons life is trying to teach you in the here and now.  Pay attention.
  6. Change is possible, but only through Christ.  Without Him people remain the same.  Observe the lives of your old friends and tell me this isn’t true.
  7. Conflict and tension are necessary to move forward together.  Iron sharpens iron, and in this case arguments sharpen spouses.
  8. I am still fascinated with life.  I cannot overstate this enough.
  9. Traditions are good.  Traditions with a purpose are great.

Your turn, what has travel taught you?

Do you travel to your childhood home throughout the year?  Do you travel around the globe?  Leave your lessons in the comments so that we may learn from you.  Thanks for reading, and please share!

About Cole Bradburn

I'm a writer and doctor in lifelong pursuit of health, happiness, and adventure. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with the love of my life and our amazing boys.

  • One of my favorite times traveling was when we had my CDs from Junior High and High School and we made ourselves listen to at least one song from each CD. We had so much fun laughing and remembering old stories that correlated with the songs. That definitely made the 16 hour trip seem shorter. Also, back home is such a different lifestyle with different types of people, etc. that it’s good to see the contrast every now and again.