July 27

Reflections: Shared Journeys

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“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” John Steinbeck

Reflections: Shared Journeys - Walking down memory lane
Reflections: Shared Journeys – Walking down memory lane
Reflections: Shared Journeys - Walking down memory lane
Reflections: Shared Journeys – Walking down memory lane

SHARED JOURNEYS: Last week, my cousin, Joyce, and her family stopped by my home on a road trip from North Carolina. They were in NY for a family celebration and took some time to come out and visit my family in the suburbs. We hung out for quite some time chatting about our extended families, catching up on our kids accomplishments, and reminiscing about our shared journey from our native country to this great country. We talked about the great waterfall, Ezeama, and our memories of clambering up and down its steep steps, as we hauled buckets of fresh spring water home to be stored in giant clay pots for cooking and washing up.  We talked about the great market, Orieukwu, and how much it has changed from the old tin roofed stalls to a full scale mini mall.

As we gathered our car keys, headed for the door for a ride to Main Street to pick up lunch, and spend some time at the park near the river, we chatted some more. We reminisced about the family gatherings that brought villagers together to celebrate a birth, death or the wedding of a cherished son/daughter.  We got to speak our native language, Igbo, and practice saying names, places, and foods we barely uttered anymore. All of the stories we shared were punctuated with sighs and comments about how much we missed those carefree childhood days.  Even though we both know the landscape has changed a lot, our shared journey ties us inextricably to a time long past. Our shared journey keeps us grounded and connected to memories and cultural traditions of our heritage.   To top off our time together, we also discussed our journey here and all the shifts, struggles, and successes we’ve had in the USA; it all felt good. Why? Because such conversations can offer a good way to ground ourselves and heal any empty spaces. Yes Steinbeck, after all these years, our journey/trip is propelling us forward … and it is taking/guiding us.

REMINDER: Don’t forget to celebrate International Day of Friendship on July 30, and National Friendship Day on August 7!

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” Oliver Goldsmith

Reflections: Shared Journeys - Walking down memory lane
Reflections: Shared Journeys – Walking down memory lane

EMIGRATION: What many people who have emigrated from their place of birth share is a strong connection to family left in the home country, and a litany of lingering, wistful memories of the way things were when they left home. I have a similar experience whenever I hang out and chat with two of my dearest friends – Diahann and Esme. With Diahann, we often reminisce about “our London days,” and all the fun things we did hanging out with friends at parties, shopping on Bond Street, Kings Road and even Oxford Street. We reflect on time spent exploring the many nooks and alleys across that great city and beyond.

Back when we were in London, we were huge fans of Reggae music, punk rock, all things British and, of course,  we had tons of stories to share about our boarding school girl days.  Food also holds  a great connection for us and I’d proudly admit that when we get together, we salivate over our memories of Rhubarb crumble and Bird’s Eye custard … and Digestive biscuits. Food plays an important memory check role by pulling us back to a time when we enjoyed certain types of foods. Even though the  treats we discussed  were ubiquitous back then,  now they are important steps/markers, down memory lane,  to a time we shared …

In some special way, I find that my connection to Lucid Gypsy, and many of my other Blog friends also takes me back to the UK, Europe, Africa and other continents or nations further afield.  I live vicariously through their journeys, and I’m reminded of the fresh and varied perspectives out there; even some I might have held had I stayed. I mention my dear friend, Lucid Gypsy, because we share both a British and African heritage and it is a bond that I feel across the ocean… We share a parallel journey even though we haven’t yet met in person.
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Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life. Pythagoras

Reflections: Shared Journeys - Walking down memory lane
Reflections: Shared Journeys – Walking down memory lane

Over the years, Facebook brought many of those shared journeys into one space but, my longstanding friendships were not created there nor are they spent chit chatting there either. Social Media serves a role that pulls us back together but, the seeds of friendship were planted many, many, years before. Sometimes, Diahann and I wonder what it would have been like if we had stayed back in the UK and never ventured across the pond to start new lives in the USA. Our move to the US was by choice not by force, and it was not necessarily for the oft repeated “better life.”  We came to America as young, curious girls seeking both adventure and a more varied education. We connected at Saks Fifth Avenue as Holiday Season employees and our friendship grew; it has stayed strong throughout the years.  We share a love for fashion, travel, great food and lots of laughter, and it is from this vantage point that all our shared experiences have been examined, tackled,  and completed.

With Esme, it has always been our love for service that drew us together… We met at a Fundraiser for our school district and continued our friendship through our support of a SIDS Foundation she created. Esme grew up in Sicily, Italy, and moved to London at a young age. She met and married her hubby and then moved to the USA when he was recruited for a big job. When we get together, we share our experiences as mothers raising kids in another country, far, far away from our kin. We share the triumphs and struggles of finding a way to integrate our other life experiences into life in the USA and, while we have enjoyed much here, it has not been without challenges.

What many emigrants try to do is build similar connections with folks who have a shared journey and experience, and this helps us all to navigate better, as we create new memories and connections in America.  With Esme, our bond has also solidified through our grief over the death of her beloved son and our involvement in a spiritual path and practice. We share an undying love for travel, great cooking and storytelling. It is this shared journey that brings us together over and over again. In a nation of immigrants from disparate backgrounds, our common, shared experience is that we left one country to settle down in yet another. What about you? What shared journeys have you had? What shared journeys do you currently have?

 

This post was inspired by a WordPress Prompt: Discover Challenge:  Shared Journeys –  For this week’s Discover challenge, tell a story that shows the value of company. Tell us about one of your shared journeys. It could be an actual journey — a road trip with your friends, your honeymoon, a walk in the woods with your parents. But you might also choose a less physical journey, from adopting an animal with your partner to finishing a collaborative creative project. You’re also welcome to share a contrary perspective and insist on the merits of solitary exploration. I look forward to your posts — which can come in any form, genre, or media you prefer to publish in. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.

 

Positive Motivation Tip: Find that connection to the journey within. As Matsuo Basho aptly said: “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos :  Journey via Pixabay and/or  via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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Tags

creative writing, DiscoverWP, DPchallenge, Emigration, friendship, Happiness, inspiration, postaday, Shared Journeys, storytelling, Weekly Writing Challenge, wisdom, writing


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  • Love the pics you chose for the post, plus that Steinbeck quote is pretty inspiring. It’s always good to talk to people who made your journey on an adventure or during the young days an awesome experience.

    • Thank you dear one! I concur. Our life is always peopled with those who help and some who hurt us … We can choose to remember the good that helped us on the journey and forgive the not so great… <3

  • After seeing all of your road trip inspired picts, I feel the need to pick up my own keys and go for a drive. There’s is nothing like seeing the country or the world from your car.

  • I’ve always said life is a journey. I think it’s great if you can get out and travel the world. I wish I could travel more often, but you can still get out and have a great journey.

  • I must say that this is one of your best posts – to me at least. As an immigrant and citizen of a second country, I get everything, every moment, every conversation, every emotion you described here! Simply beautiful!

  • I can definitely see how having shared a big journey with someone forms a bond. I guess it makes a lot of sense that road trips and honeymoons are such huge traditions.

  • Dear Eliz, thank you! We so share similar paths don’t we? I think you are the only Igbo friend I have and I treasure that. I’m happy that one of my half sisters has moved to London with her son to be with her husband at last so I can occasionally spend time with her there. So I had a Igbo ‘fix’ this week, with her and my uncle. I so wish I could understand when they speak Igbo!

    • Oh so true! Hahaha! I don’t get to speak it much. I have one friend who does speak it but, we always segue into English. No one else around me does… My family communicates in English too so you are not alone. <3

  • On long travels, my mom and I use to talk a lot about almost anything. And often than not, we miss uturns because we are so engrossed with our story telling anf listening.

  • Initially I thought this was a travel inspired post, but as I went on, it became a more spiritual one. Shared journeys help shape us, emotionally and physically, as these broaden our view of the world.

  • It’s wonderful that your love of service is your bond – giving back is so important! Good for you, this was a really well-written piece! thanks for sharing 🙂

  • You select the best pictures ever.! Looking forward to seeing more pictures because viewing them relaxes my mind. Thank you for sharing your story about your family. It must have been so wonderful connecting with Joyce and reminiscing so many wonderful memories you both shared together of your journey from your native country to here. I’m from Puerto Rico and love sharing stories with my family too. Especially the priceless ones we had when our parents were alive. Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

  • It’s so nice to spend time with friends in person, isn’t it? I agree with you that Social Media serves a role in helping us get in touch and stay there but there is nothing like being together. Love this post and the pics!!!

  • I love Birds eye custard, not so much Rhubarb crumble. What a riveting journey, Elizabeth thanks for sharing. Takes me right back to those days in rural Uganda. How times and ladscapes change!

  • It’s good to tell or to share your journey with other people maybe you can inspire them by your journey.

  • Your post are always inspirational. This made me remember some journeys I’ve been through…

  • Love your story and good memories behind. This is such an amazing quote by Oliver Goldsmith “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” Life is an amazing journey filled with lessons,joy and special moments that lead us to our destination!

  • What a beautiful article. It’s always nice to read about other peoples journeys. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great pictures! The Basho quote at the end is very fitting as ever day really is a journey and you never know who you will encounter or what will happen. The goal is just to make everyday a memorable day as life flashes before your eyes.

  • Do you personally take your photos? Those shots are awesome! How I wish I can take a photo just like you. Keep it up!

  • I think it’s wonderful to revisit and reflect on your past experiences and language. I know you must have so many wonderful memories tied there.

  • when great pictures come together in one peice to make a post it comes out awesome… awesome is my word for this post.. you did great on this…

  • Your post took me right into the moment and I could see the ride and the reflections had. Love how good you are at getting me into the moment with your written words.

  • My perfect partner in my journeys is my hubby. We shared a lot of things while we travel, it is nice to have a partner like him who can understand me always.

  • The more you move around the more important these shared journeys and connections become. Especially the more unusual or unexpected ones that can end up changing the course of your life.

  • It seems you came from a humble but amazing background. It seems it taught you to truly cherish life.

  • I think everyone is on their own journey. I am on the journey of raising two awesome little humans.

  • That quote about the journey is amazing. I love that you lived in London how amazing!

  • Life is beautiful. Everyone’s life is beautiful, interesting, intriguing in some way or another. Good to know you’ve lived in 3 different continents!!!

  • We take so many different journeys in our lives. You are right. No two are ever the same!

  • Sounds like a lovely visit with family. It’s always special to reminisce with someone who remembers the same things you do and speaks the same language.

  • This post reminded me of a book I read titled “Half of a Yellow Sun”. Very cool post.

  • My lofe itself has been a journey-met lots of people along the way! But I always came back to NY-where I grew up an my memories are varied and many. I still bump into my high school friends on occasion and see others on facebook. When we do connect it is as if time has stood still.

  • Thanks for sharing the experience of coming to the US with us. The friendships you’ve made are certainly blessings and their history and genesis show us that friends can be made at any time, in any circumstance.

  • I like my sharing my journeys with my best friend aside from my hubby. We have a lot of things in common especially our love for makeup and fashion.

  • What a great post. I also love Reggae music not that it’s important, I just don’t meet many people around here that do like it. I’m glad your friend stopped in to see you on her journey. Memories are priceless.

  • I love this. I have actually had an opposite experience, where I have made some amazing friends online, seeds sewn from having a child born with a more-rare disability. I love that social media can do so many amazing things in all different ways for everyone.

  • It sounds like you had a good time together, glad to hear that. These relationships and experiences are so important in life.

  • isn’t wonderful to visit with family and get to reminisce? I love when my cousins come to NY to visit and we get to catch up.

  • I remember when I was young, we travel often. My dad and mom are great with travellings that we never got bored.

  • Isn’t life a journey, a journey of discovery of the inner self and its part in the greater scheme of things.

  • When it comes with shared journeys, my family is always on the first line. They saw me laugh, cry, upset, mad, happy and go crazy but they still accepted me.

  • Life is not only about sweetness. You also get hurt by some people. Never get down with any negative thing just be strong with it. Thanks for sharing

  • Life always has its own substance in carrying the utmost meaning of our journeys; shared or even alone. The journey takes its value to the things that we nurture overtime, but one at a time. The essence lies inside of us on how to propel…..Fernando Lachica

  • I always enjoy reading your reflections, and love the quotes you choose. Plus the photos are very atmospheric too!

  • So lovely that your cousin Joyce got to come and see you and you could talk about your memories x

  • I guess every one has a unique journey and that makes every one special. It’s just amazing when these journeys intertwine and we go through that stretch with family and friends.

  • oh gosh, your photos are so impressive… they seems to have a lot of stories to tell just like they said, photographs do not just capture images but they also save memories

  • That wonderful quote from Oliver Goldsmith is good enough to explain what the life journey is all about. The pictures are simply amazing & we all have some unique journey experiences to inspire our lives!

  • ahhh..sharing our journeys with our close family or friends is something we can tell them about our whereabouts when we visited certain places and could also reminisced good memories to share.

  • I agree, social media just waters the seeds that were planted long ago. I’m glad you got to visit family from out of state.

  • I love these images. The golds and blues are very striking and you can’t help but to really examine the details.

  • I agree that every journey is different. And I find enjoyment sharing my journey, whether my actual travels or whatever I go through with life, in the company of friends. I love to stay connected with friends.

  • I love how you equated the virtual journeys we take with the physical ones!

  • Can’t get over those amazing photos! And yes we encounter so many people in our journey to self discovery.

  • When I moved away from home, my ties to home have gotten stronger ironically. Now I always, constantly feel like I’m in two places at once. I guess that feeling will never go away.

  • I love the idea that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us. It’s very true and is proven to me every time I go on an adventure!

  • I think I might have to start doing these WordPress prompts. Its so fun to go back and remember our journey through life and where its taken us, especially with a good friend who has been there for the majority of it.

  • Travelling is most precious because of the memories you form with your companions. My favorite companions are my family. Travelling with friends of the same age group gives a different dimension of fun.

  • Lovely photographs. As for moving around and being a nomad, I was travel a lot and change the places I live in.

  • That’s awesome that you guys got to speak your native language together again. Never heard of Igbo!

  • I find with family, cousins in particular, I have a lasting connection, even if I haven’t seen them in a long time. I think it has to do, partially with the simple fact of knowing them my entire life!

  • Life is a journey by itself. If you’re lucky enough, you get the right company to make your journey worth while <3

  • Lovely pictures – got into the travelling mood by watching them. Life is a journey – that’s simply so true. It’s nice and important to have memories and remember all (or at least some) of those people have been travelling with you during this life long journey.

  • you made a wonderful post from this . inspiring and guess this is the moment of the day for me… (Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life. Pythagoras) made it all more touching for me.

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful visit with your friend! I like your thoughts on shared journeys. You always have such beautiful pictures in your post.

  • Beautifully written. And the photos adding a nice break and time to reflect. Great post

  • Never heard of Igbo before but I just read that there are 20 million speakers.

  • Brilliant quote and post. It is wonderful indeed to be able to catch up with an old friend or relative, reminisce and be thankful for one’s journey and its outcome, even if it’s still ongoing.

  • I super love these pictures! Whenever I travel, I want my husband beside me and we just shared wonderful moments of our lives together.

  • Life is a journey. Sometimes physical and sometimes emotional. I loved cousins visit and memories part..

  • I was just looking for quotes on friendship today and I didn’t really find the perfect one. Then i see it here (Pythagoras). I didn’t realize it was International Friendship Day either. It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to live in so many different places.

  • These photos you have selected are so lively and can feel that sun/light speaking hundred words on their own. First two quotes are two inspiring that no two lives are same.

  • It is so wonderful that you can spend time with family and loved ones visiting. I love meeting up with family and friends when I visit my home country, Canada. There are so many things I miss from my childhood years. I was very close to my younger sister and our best times were spent playing in the snow during the cold winters and riding our bicycles in the summer.

  • Absolutely stunning pics. Can’t agree more with this quote. For a wanderlust like me, it is mantra of my life. Best wishes for your journeys ahead too. 🙂

  • Its always great to spend time with people who you have so many memories with. My best friend and I can spend hours talking about all the things we used to do as children, sights we used to see and holidays we used to go on. It’s an absolute elating feeling! x

  • This is such a wonderful post. Very inspiring. I am sure everyone reading this will think for a moment and learn something. Keep on writing such an inspiring articles.

  • Having experienced both, journeys that are shared are so much more powerful than ones that are done alone. Just being able to say to someone remember when…

  • I always wish that I have family and close friends nearby. My weekends would have been different. I envy you and your tight-knit relationship with your family and friends. True, they are indeed a blessing from Above.

  • The world is made smaller and connections become more complicated with the internet and online social network. I believed these common journeys and shared experiences will change the world…

  • The journey begins at as, one single step means a lot if we continue. And by journeying you will encounter different people in a different scenario – this will test your personality as a person on how you deal with it.

  • Loved the theme of your post! The world has become virtual that we are connected with our friends and loved ones on social media more than physically meeting them. Glad to know that you went on a road trip with your family and had an amazing time!

  • Great prompt for today. It’s amazing how you can connect with someone you’ve never met in person.

  • It is always a great time to catch up and reminisce with relatives. I love the pictures you chose!

  • I always write stories about Travel, most of the time on solo travels.
    I always take a step onward in my travels based on this mantra from a Christian song I heard when I was younger “I may never pass this way again…”

    The people I meet, speak to, shared a moment with become strong memories that build up this journey of life, and many of this moments, no matter how short it may be, is a shared journey of life too.

  • Life itself is a journey we share with the people around us– our family and friends. We should make te most out of it.

  • Love your photos! They are beautiful! My husband actually lived in North Carolina for awhile.=)

  • i can’t get over you pics… they are spectacular! Yeah! sharing a journey with your loved ones…nothing like it!

  • shared jouneys = shared life long memories. its always beautiful to reflect on the beautiful memories many years on and it makes you want to repeat it

  • Lovely photos and …very nice and beautiful post!! Omg – your blog is so inspirational…

  • Never heard of the language Igbo before so I must check it out! You learn something new everyday eh? It is really important to reflect on those who have helped you get to where you are today instead of looking to where you will be tomorrow!

  • The value of company. In this world full of uncertainty, it is more reassuring to face challenges and even new roads with someone by your side. And that someone may either give encouragement or reminder.

  • As Mother Teresa said, just do it anyway. Each of us has struggles and difficulties, just that many are able to hide how they feel.

  • Shared journey has a best part, you will have a companion.

    Someone to talk to and share your feelings.

  • Love everything you’ve shared here. The photos, the quotes are so inspiring. Great job on this blog.

  • I am find and food to be alone but being with soeone, to share my feeling and emotions add a lot to my travels. I do prefer it that way!

  • Shared Journey is my routine every Sunday by posting on my blog to keep inspired people and I really love to ask them on whats their life going through to try cheer them up when they feel tired or anything 🙂

  • It can be wonderful to share your journey with someone because you’ll be able to reflect on those memories together and truly enjoy them.

  • The shared journey I will never forget (among the many trips weve taken as a family) was our brief life in the UK when my dad was a diplomat. I was in highschool, a little rebellious about being plucked out of my school, but my family grew together..

    We experienced Europe for the first time… I left my comfort zone and did my A-Levels. We were strangers in a new place and it brought us closer together.

    We all love to reminisce about those days. They were marvelous.

  • I love the photo you took. It sound like an amazing trip but i have to say that i never hear about language Igbo, always nice to learn something new of curse

  • “We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us”. Yes, sometimes, it’s just refreshing just to be taken.

  • I loved this post, Elizabeth. It reminded me of my family and friends who have enriched my journey in this life tremendously.

  • I feel like I have been on a journey since I moved to America. It has been a long one but it has been mostly good.

  • I love how you worded that…”shared journey. ” I think that’s what bonds Filipinos together even if you are only meeting for the first time!

  • I’ve never even heard of Igbo before, thank you for teaching me something new. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  • Your taste in choosing visuals is fascinating. I love to spend time on the road in a good company) and an adventure with a person you love would always be the best)

  • How wonderful that you got to spend time with your cousin. I’m glad you got to speak your native tongue and reminisce.

  • I am actually going to name my daughter Journey. And isn’t Facebook and Social Media great ways to continue to share our journeys with people I can’t believe it’s my job!

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