Catcowbeaverdog

by Steve Brock on February 21, 2012

Sometimes Ginger acts more like a cat...

With our look at dog envy and how being in a new place is great but getting there isn’t, it may seem as if this whole blog has gone to the dogs lately. But bear with me as I use my pet Ginger to illustrate one more important point about meaningful travel.

Some would look at our pet and say that our family has a dog.

We know better.

We refer to her in many ways depending on the antics of the moment. But the most common definition for Ginger is that she is a “catcowbeaverdog.”

Sometimes Ginger acts more like a cow...

Most of the time, she behaves in that finicky “I’ll show you affection on my own terms” way associated with cats. Unless, of course, she wants food or to go on a walk. Then she practically swoons over you.

Other times, she munches on grass like a cow. We asked the vet about her diet, but that seems fine. And on close examination, she doesn’t actually eat the grass. She just likes to pluck it and munch it as if she’s chewing her cud. Very attractive.

Sometimes Ginger acts like a beaver...

Then there’s the beaver identity. As a puppy and, to a lesser degree still today, throw a stick for her to retrieve and nine times out of ten she’ll fetch it then trot over to a grassy corner, lie down and chew up the stick – or even a large branch – until all that is left is kindling.

And sometimes she acts like a dog...but mostly by sleeping all the time.

Oh, and sometimes she actually behaves like a dog. Sometimes.

What does this have to do with travel?

We’re a lot like my catcowbeaverdog. Not that we chew grass and trees on our trips but that we exhibit different aspects of our personality when we travel.

We sometimes take different trips for different purposes. On one trip, we’re all about relaxing. On another, we’re in a learning or serving mode. On another, our goal is adventure.

Often, we change our focus within the same trip. One day, we pursue art and history with a vengeance. The next, you couldn’t get us into a museum if you tried.

We may act like completely different people on a trip and that’s okay. It reflects the nature of travel as the great liberator. Travel frees us to try things we’d never attempt or be interested in at home. We’re free to pursue new interests or explore aspects of our personality that have been repressed or have atrophied from disuse at home.

What have you always dreamed about doing but have been to hesitant to try? Scuba diving in Belize? Taking a cooking class in Paris? Learning the tango in Buenos Aires? Working with orphans in China? Riding a luge in St. Moritz? Doing a safari in Botwsana?

Knock yourself out. God has given you hopes and dreams that often look very different than your routine life. Travel lets you not just do more, but be more than you think. So be bold. Take a risk. Try something new.

Just don’t chew on any grass or trees.

"If I can't see them, I don't have to obey..."

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