While I wouldn’t say that travel is back to normal (having experienced two roundtrip flights—the first one canceled by the airlines and then rebooked, only to be delayed numerous times, and the second flight so delayed as to require rebooking through another city in the hopes of arriving home on the same day as I departed), the idea of traveling again has normalized. And that can only be a good thing.
One of the many luxuries we lost over the last few years was the ability to travel at the spur of moment, without thought or much planning. I missed the possibility of a quick change of scenery that jolted me be back to my best “Vacation Self” and that also enabled me to see my surroundings with genuine interest and enthusiasm.
On my most recent gemstone buying trip, I took some time to wander to around the city I hadn’t visited for years, determined to see something NEW. Relaxing under the warm sun, I loosened my scarf as my footsteps multiplied, and the cute shops run by enterprising and determined owners seemed to pop up like mirages in the desert.
Above: painting by Diane Barbee
It was in one of these places, piled high with handcrafted silver and brightly patterned blankets, that I discovered this latest group of finds. They are the pieces that I have always dreamed of finding in a city rich with artisanal talents, but, until this week, haven’t managed to. Excited to have unearthed jewelry that proudly carries the mark of its making, I talked at length with the designer. Time stretched to allow for a spirited and far reaching conversation about inspiration, metal techniques, the importance of traditional craftsmanship, odd weather patterns and our favorite local restaurants. We parted laughing, with a hug.
So, while traveling, at least for me, may not be back to what it once was, I will happily accept its challenges for the beautiful moments of connection it allows.