This essay was originally posted on Medium.com.
John and I flew down to the Dominican Republic to spend New Year’s with friends at Casa de Campo. It was the afternoon of our arrival and we were enjoying cold drinks and their view of the sun lowering over the sea when I reached for my phone to take a picture. My head flashed with heat as I realized the phone, credit cards, and drivers license attached were missing. A quick back-track of our steps had us returning to the resort’s security gate where I had been so excited to see our friends pulling in to greet us, that I stupidly left the phone behind. I was extremely grateful to learn it had been found and turned over to resort security.
By the time we arrived in the DR, we were already nearing the end of our holiday and I couldn’t help feeling like this little mishap was a final test of sorts. Getting reunited with my phone became almost a comical exercise in patience — primarily because I was embarrassed and concerned I’d thrown off our hosts’ evening plans more than any mistreatment by the very conscientious resort staff!
I’ve been given many teachers in this life when it comes to cultivating patience. Some of the most poignant have appeared while traveling. At home, it’s easy to construct a predictable daily structure, everything under my control (haha). When I lose my patience at home, I often brush it off as justified. I think, “how dare xyz not serve my needs as I want when I want?” But travel takes me to places where my ego has to admit I am insignificant and invisible. Travel separates me from my well-curated routine, creating obvious opportunities to practice patience. Travel holds me accountable to family members — who won’t let me get away with anything.
The first half of the holiday break had us traveling to Punta de Mita, Mexico with our three adult children. There, we enjoyed the Pacific Ocean, cooked simple meals in the villa, lit Hanukkah candles, played games, and talked… Read More