Travel can be a benefit when dealing with long-term grief

  • Objects around the house can remind one of happy travel. These are original tiles from trips to Granada, Spain. Lisbon Portugal. Istanbul, and Turkey.

    Objects around the house can remind one of happy travel. These are original tiles from trips to Granada, Spain. Lisbon Portugal. Istanbul, and Turkey. Courtesy of Susan Anderson-Khleif

 

Travel is usually a very enlightening and fun experience. With travel, you broaden your view of the world, and get "outside" yourself -- whether in our own huge United States or abroad.

Some people travel with their work, others on vacations, some travel to visit family, some to explore. Whether you are alone, or with a spouse, or friend -- it's never too late.

Trains, airlines, and cruise ships are all experienced in helping travelers get from here to there and many tours are designed for limited mobility and age, concentrating on scenery, cultural experiences, and great food.

My own Grandmother Anderson traveled the world after her dear husband of 40 years died at the early age of 59.

Baheej and I always had travel in the center of our lives. We started in 1971 when I was still a graduate student and he was on an exchange program from the University of Wisconsin, teaching at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

We also did traveling around the Mountain States and southwest USA -- Mesa Verde, Durango, the Continental Divide, the Grand Tetons, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Then we explored Canada at the St. Lawrence River, and then Nova Scotia.

Eventually we expanded to all of Western Europe and north to Scandinavia, then Asia Far East, South Asia, India, and South America and Mexico and other points in Latin America. So it has been a life of travel.

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Travel makes an impression on you and any travel helps shape your life and world view in positive and useful ways.

The everyday impact of this travel is left in your house, your memory, and the many photos and artifacts one brings home from all these travels.

I am personally comforted everywhere I look in the house at objects brought back from Sweden, Japan, Holland, Morocco, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, China, Indonesia, and many others.

For you, It could be a little trip or a big international trip. All travel is valuable.

Some of the benefits include:

• The objects and souvenirs you bring home and put in your house or apartment are wonderful reminders of the nice experiences you had.

• Memories of the people you meet, their hospitality, friendliness. Some become longtime friends.

• The food is always fun and delicious. Travel exposes you to new tastes and ways of cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• The scenery: Such beautiful places, maybe not more beautiful than home but special mountains, valleys, rivers, castles.

• The music and museums are wonderful things to enjoy. Lots of music can be taken home. And we always bought lots of novels (translated to English!) and photo books from places traveled.

The point is -- it's never too late to travel. And let the things you bring home comfort you by the memories they bring of your beloved, and let you those objects help you remember the wonderful times and places, even if you were by yourself or with a group of travel friends.

• Susan Anderson-Khleif of Sleepy Hollow has a Ph.D. in family sociology from Harvard, taught at Wellesley College, and is a retired Motorola executive. Contact her at sakhleif@comcast.net or see her blog longtermgrief.tumblr.com. See previous columns at DailyHerald.anderson-khleif.

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