Home: Gratitude as We Bring The HUG Back Home

Jim and I have been traveling for thirteen months. We’ve taken thirty-seven flights to share HUG Your Baby and learn about the care of babies and young families around the world. I made sixty-nine presentations in thirteen countries! Jim's played music for princes and for farm animals, and with musicians on four continents. We’ve written blogs and lullabies, taken photos and videos, and worn out our shoes and clothes.

Now we are headed home. And how are we feeling? Happy. Sad. Satisfied. But, most of all, we feel grateful.

Travel reveals new ways of living and being, but only when travelers find local people willing to accommodate and guide them. Jim and I are exceedingly grateful for all we’ve seen and learned this year. Above all we are grateful for the many remarkable people who, by extending themselves to us, made this journey a joy, a revelation, and an inspiration.

We hoped that our passion for parenting and babies, and for music and the arts, would attract new friends in faraway lands and make our travel more than tourism. We are grateful that our trip was such a success in this regard. Not only did we learn more than we imagined we could, we met so many generous, caring, creative and wise people who embraced us and shared with us their family lives and professional lives, their loves and hopes and dreams.

Sons, Jonathan and David
We are also grateful for family and friends at home who managed our affairs there, who followed our journey with love and interest, who came to visit us abroad, and who took us in when we passed through North America.

As this year of travel draws to a close, we cannot stop thinking of the many wonderful people we met and relied upon and connected with, and of the many remarkable experiences we had through and with them. We are especially thankful for the professionals who have agreed to be HUG Your Baby's country representative in these eight countries: Australia, Holland, Iran Italy, Japan, Malyasia, Korea and Thailand.

In addition to the many good people we met as we traveled, we also want to express our gratitude for the many good things that made this trip both possible and enjoyable: 

We are grateful for our good health . . . no accidents and
only a few, mercifully short bouts of illness.

We are grateful for our security . . . no robberies, thefts, or losses of anything hard to replace.

We are grateful for the weather . . . seldom too hot or too
cold, and often ideal.

We are grateful for where we’ve been . . . so many lovely places to treasure.

We are grateful for staying on budget . . . no big surprises or retirement-ending disasters! (Selling those "Roadmaps" help to pay for our travel.)

We are grateful for simple, well-designed and durable travel gear . . . that kept our traveling simple and safe.

We are grateful for the success of the TravelScoot . . . that showed us living with a disability is a challenge to be overcome not only with the right attitude and the right support, but also with the right equipment. (See photo of sisters-in-laws, Nancy and KB "Scoot" with me around England.) 

We are grateful for electronic resources (Blogger, Facebook, flip camera,
Tripit, Google calendars) . . . that made our trip possible, manageable, and share-able.

Finally, we are grateful for each other and for the love that continues to grow between and around us. We may have gotten sick of each other’s
clothes on this trip, but not to be sick of each other, after thirteen months of daily togetherness, is perhaps the most amazing gift of all!

With thirty-six years of married life behind us,
Jim and I still wonder what’s next. We find
ourselves most grateful, at journey’s end,
for the love and commitment that keep us
dreaming, working and growing together!