by Lisa Burwell
Wouldn’t it be great if getting home from a trip abroad were as simple as clicking your ruby slippers together three times and repeating, “There’s no place like home”—and presto—you’re home? There have been so many times I’ve wished it could be that easy, but that only worked for Dorothy.
Travel is full of adventure and enlightenment, but it can be fraught with stress caused by any number of things: delayed flights, bad weather, grouchy fellow passengers, failing systems, or just incompetence in general. That kind of stress can try the patience of the most seasoned traveler—and patience is a prerequisite to embarking on any journey. As much as I love the whole process of planning my trip and then reaching my destination, I loathe packing. And to make it worse, my poor dog really hates it when the dread suitcase appears from behind that closet door. She paces anxiously, wondering if she’s going with me. She has even tried to climb in on some occasions. I start missing her even before I walk out the door. It’s a heartrending dilemma!
Travel, whether for business or pleasure, is a customary part of my life. I have been uprooted so much lately that I am beginning to crave the mundane routines of home: grocery shopping, cooking, exercising regularly, and even doing laundry. There are seasons in everyone’s life and, right now, I’d just like to ground myself. But this isn’t in the cards because, after a decade of storytelling, I’m in the midst of preparing to launch VIE onto a national platform. Starting with this issue, we are now a monthly publication. A national media tour of meet-and-greets in Birmingham, Boston, Charleston, Miami, Nashville, and New Orleans, as well as trips to Ireland and New York City, are currently in the works.
What I find when I’m at home is that a simple routine can help keep me centered, even if the errand is as unexciting as picking up my dry cleaning. A grateful heart is mine—whether I’m traveling or at home—and I think that’s why traveling can be so important. It teaches patience and gratitude while we learn to live in this world of high intensity and stress. After all, the twenty-first-century lifestyle is, well, fast!
Travel allows me the privilege of experiencing new adventures while collecting a treasure chest full of memories. It also makes me grateful for returning home with a rekindled energy for mundane routines. I will admit, too, that the energy and focus that traveling requires at times causes a strong yearning within me for the comfort of my own bed.
A thrill runs through me when I see hot-air balloons in the sky, as they look so liberating and a little scary, which satisfies my inner adrenaline junkie. That is why the beautiful image of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on our cover makes me smile, and our feature article, “Up, Up, and Away,” by Steve Larese is a must-read! A travel spotlight on New Orleans, “What’s in a Name: The Big Easy’s Rite of Passage,” written by managing editor Jordan Staggs, is a comprehensive travel guide to one of the most fascinating cities in our country.
This issue is filled with intrigue, wonder, travel, and interesting stories, so fly up and away with us—even if it’s from the comfort of home!
—Lisa Marie Founder/Editor-In-Chief