We emailed our annual one-page holiday newsletter to friends and family last week – just as we have every year for the last dozen-plus years.
We’ve acquired so many new friends (actual and virtual) during the first 10 months of our yearlong border trek that we thought we’d post the newsletter on our Postcards blog as well. It’s wrapped in our warmest wishes for a happy holiday season to the thousands of virtual trekkers who have followed along – and engaged with us – on this trip-of-a-lifetime journey.
Happy Holidays to Family and Friends!
This has been a transformational year for us. Keven retired in February after more than 38 years in journalism and we hit the road on March 1 in our tiny Casita travel trailer for a trip around the perimeter of the United States – a counter-clockwise Year on the Edges of America. Mom joined us at launch and several stops along the way.
Many of our friends and family members – and thousands of readers we don’t know – have followed our adventures via our blog, postcardsfromtheperimeter.com, where we’ve enjoyed sharing stories, reflections and photos along the way. (I’ve hot-linked to a few of the posts throughout this letter; just click on the boldfaced phrases.) Please check it out if you haven’t already and feel free to share the link. It’s fun to engage with readers who are intrigued by this sort of journey.
Best of all, we’re not done yet!
We’re four-fifths of the way around the country and have settled in Tucson for the holidays. Sometime after the first of the year we’ll resume our trek eastward to close our circle around the country and return to Dallas. We’re 21,449 miles down, just a few thousand more miles to go.
Highlights have been so many it’s hard to single out just a few. We loved sea-kayaking on massive Lake Superior, hiking in (a smoky) Glacier National Park and harvesting crab pots off the coast of Washington State. We revisited Keven’s fondest childhood memory, met her namesake and reconnected with Georges’ long-lost cousin. We even scored a geographic grand slam. Best of all, we enjoyed visiting and cooking for friends (old and new!) and family along the way.
We are truly humbled by this continent’s grandeur and the grace and dignity of its people.
Our year hasn’t been without challenges. We weathered blowouts and mourned the loss of loved ones. The pervasiveness of poverty in the richest country on Earth is startling, the growing chasm between rich and poor mind- boggling. There is real suffering – underemployment, mental illness, substance abuse among rich and poor – from sea to sea. These factors contribute to the dreadful state of politics at this moment in time.
In quiet moments around the campfire, we fantasize about a curriculum for American pre-teens that includes a mandatory semester of similar travel. There’s no better way to learn history than to experience it, and there’s no better way to build an appreciation for lives and cultures beyond one’s own than to engage with them. It would be an expensive public proposition, but the value priceless. Young people with such expanded horizons would be well equipped to lead the country into a prosperous and progressive future.
That’s a big dream. And we’re still on a journey…. Here’s hoping YOUR journey takes you where you want to go, that your holidays are a delight and that 2019 is your best year yet!
—Keven and Georges