Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Travel That Changes Us

Aug 31, 2023 07:13PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

As one of eight children, the furthest our parents wanted to travel with a car full of kids was to our summer home on the lake two hours away. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I had the opportunity to travel out of the state of Michigan to Florida while on college break. Experiencing the warm, sunny beaches while it was cold and dreary back home was an awakening of how winters could be lived differently.

Despite my mother’s protests, at age 20 I saved up enough money for a three-month summer backpacking adventure throughout Europe with my boyfriend. The different languages, cultures, currencies and landscapes opened up a new world for me and fueled my love for travel and adventure to this day. The longest road trip I ever took was when I was still in my 20s. That often treacherous drive to deliver a friend’s truck from Michigan to Honduras definitely honed my road skills and upped my adventure meter.

Many of the travel experiences that call to me these days are designed for spiritual, mental and physical renewal, often as part of a group. That’s why Kiki Powers’ feature story, “Traveling With Purpose: Nine Destinations for Spiritual Enlightenment” held such interest. I’ve had the opportunity to experience several of the nine destinations she writes about on page 24. Although each journey holds special significance, top on my list have been Egypt, Israel and the special connection I have to Mt. Shasta, which keeps calling me back, perhaps again this month!

It was fun to interview my two friends, Sue Mahany and Ivette Gomez, about their recent summer trips. For years, I have listened to Ivette’s captivating stories about her pilgrimages along Santiago de Compostela Camino, in Spain. Sometimes I run into her on the Greenway right here in Naples, with her backpack on, arduously training for an upcoming expedition. See page 28 for details. 

Still, we don’t have to go that far for adventure. Last month, my sister Mary Jo and I took a camping trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When a couple of my other siblings and their mates heard about our trip, the travel party grew. With Mary Jo’s 1970 vintage camper and a couple of luxurious RVs on Lake Superior, we weren’t exactly roughing it by then.

This month’s issue offers plenty of tips for your own travel adventures both near and far. But let’s just pray that on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ian’s visit with so many still recovering, none of us will be called to do some unexpected travel.

Happy Summering,

Sharon Bruckman