“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  –Miriam Beard

Have you ever taken a trip that was so full of new experiences, sights, sounds and tastes, that you felt like you were gone a month instead of 10 days, or a week instead of a weekend? A trip where there was so much new to take in, prompting new thoughts and emotions, that the details bubbled at the surface, hoping for an outlet? But after being back in the rush of regular life a few days or maybe a week, it almost seemed like the whole adventure never happened? That’s happened to me more times than I can count.

A local photographer/family therapist and frequent traveler to Asia wanted her two girls (then aged 14 and 11) to experience some of the world outside their protected existence growing up in a Boston suburb and now the Pioneer Valley. She took them out of their private schools for five weeks in the dead of winter and they went to Nepal to live and work in an orphanage (www.ama-foundation.org) for three weeks , followed by two weeks of travel in India.

She had to push them into it – at least at first – as they had a number of fears and anxieties about the trip. Whether or not they would enjoy it in the end, she was pretty sure it would be an incredible learning experience for them – and she was right about that. But she also feared the experience might dissipate as they reentered their regular lives, blowing away like a bucket of ashes in the wind. She was right about that too.

Instead of just letting it go, though, she did something to save it. She asked us to help them record their thoughts about the experience. Now the importance of that trip – the emotions, the tastes, the lessons learned – have been saved and can be shared with family and friends. In the present, it’s a wonderful way to honor and acknowledge those special weeks spent together. In the future, it becomes a snapshot in time that can’t be recaptured.

To listen to some snippets of what they learned about Nepal, themselves and each other, click HERE.