Today we will part from our normal routine, so that we can look back on the recent past. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on how we got to where we are today. It was about 18 months ago that we launched Our Changing Lives. In that time, we have learned a lot from the places we have visited and the people we have met. Independence Day seemed an appropriate time to reflect on the freedom we have gained by putting ourselves out there on the web. We hope you enjoy this short walk down memory lane. If I get too nostalgic feel free just to look at the pictures.

We have tasted a myriad of delicious breakfast meals.

Eat A Good Breakfast

Exploring can burn plenty of calories, especially when you walk between stops. We have learned that the old adage is true. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Of course, it’s easy for us to eat up when we find so many great options. It seems like more and more restaurants are seeing the draw of having unique dishes on their menus, instead of just eggs and bacon.

No matter where we travel we seem to always find some good barbecue.

Good BBQ Can Be Found In More Places Than Kansas City

It always amazes us when we visit a new city and the residents comment about how great KC BBQ is compared to their hometown. Now, we won’t argue that KC is home to some of the best barbecue in the world. We have found that there are some great variations in other cities, though. When we make our plans for a new destination, we always attempt to add a good variety of cuisines. BBQ is almost always a given, if we can find one. Just be sure to ask what the house specialty is, as they are usually proud to show off their best dishes.

Being willing to engage in play keeps us young at heart.

Take Time To Play

Being Baby Boomers doesn’t mean we have to sit on the sidelines. We have found you’re as young as your heart. We may not run as fast as we used to, but we can still jump in and experience new thrills. Fortunately, with age comes wisdom, so we have learned to pace our fun a little. Sometimes we have our grandkids in tow, but quite often it’s just the two of us. It usually surprises the Visitors Bureaus that we deal with. A common response is “That place is usually for kids.” Well, we are the biggest kids on the playground.

We have learned not to take ourselves so seriously. It's more fun that way.

Be Silly

Travel blogging has opened us up to a whole new world of activities. Social media is no longer just a passing phase, but a monster that must always be fed. We started kind of calm, but have learned to just let it flow. This means that we put ourselves out there a little farther than we would have in the past. It took me a while to convince Crystal, but after a bit she began to open up and even look for new things to try. (The snake on her neck is something I would have never expected.) In the past, she would have thought I was crazy when I asked her to lay down on a street for a selfie. With the freedom that travel blogging has brought us, she even suggested we do retakes to get just the perfect shot.

Whenever we visit a zoo it seems that the animals are as interested in watching us as we are of them.

The Animals Watch Us Back

We are pretty sure it is obvious that we are animal lovers. When we travel to a new city, we always look for zoos or animal parks to explore. No matter how many we visit, there is always some exhibit that stands out. While we love watching the wildlife, sometimes they seem to be watching us. I guess they enjoy seeing new species, as much as we do. It certainly makes for enjoyable memories.

We have met lots of unique characters during our travels.

Everyone Has a Story

Traveling not only opens up new experiences, but introduces us to lots of new people. We have found that most people are just like us and are everyday people just going through their lives. Everyone has an interesting story made up from their experiences, trials, and tribulations. If you just give them a chance to tell it you will find that it expands your horizons. It’s also a great way to make new friends.

Traveling has helped us continue our education.

Never Stop Learning

It has been said the best education comes from traveling. We aren’t sure if this is true, but we have certainly learned a lot, since we began on this journey. It’s been a lot of years since we were in school, and I’m not sure that I ever learned some of the historical facts that we have lately. An added bonus is reading all of the personal stories associated with the people who were involved in the events we are learning about.

Life in a prairie town would have been hard and fraught with perils.

Others Had It Hard

One common theme we have learned is that those who came before us had hard lives. These days we are used to the advantages of technology, but can you imagine what it would have been like to live in the 1800’s? First you would have to endure an arduous journey, filled with dangers, across a hostile environment. The hard work would only begin at that point. Whenever we see pictures of the “Old Days”, we thank our lucky stars to have been born in these times.

It is important to remember those who sacrificed for our freedoms.

Remember The Sacrifices Others Made

While we may not have wanted to live in the past, we can certainly appreciate all of the sacrifices that others have made for our freedoms. From the fight for independence to the battles to reunite our nation. Two world wars and plenty of other military actions that have required Americans to make the ultimate sacrifice. It is imperative that we honor them for their willingness to give it all.

The flag is a symbol of sacrifice and should be held in a place of honor.

Honor Our Flag

The sacrifices of these Americans was done to preserve our freedoms. The American flag is a symbol of these sacrifices. We believe that this symbol should be treated with as much respect as we treat the graves of our fallen soldiers. We may not always agree with the choices made in association with some conflicts, but we still respect those that step up to serve their country.

It's fun to think back on the good old days of yesteryear, and remember all of the fun.

Remember The Good Days

It is said that the mind will selectively dismiss unpleasant memories. I guess it wants us to remember the past for the good times. That sounds good to us. When we think back, our memories are filled with the fun experiences of our childhoods. Baseball games were a special event that included peanuts, popcorn, and players who were there because they loved the game. Carnivals and circuses were another great memory that felt like we were in a magical place. What were some of your favorite childhood memories?

A visit to the mountains opens our eyes to the majesty of nature.

Visit The Mountains

Our blog is designed to show people that there are lots of great destinations in the “fly-over” states. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy traveling beyond the borders. We have no problem being flat-landers, since it means that when we do visit the mountains we can truly appreciate them.

Sometimes you just have to get away to the beach and feel the sand between your toes.

Stroll Along A Beach

The center of the nation gives us a chance to experience all of the seasons. The view of acres of wheat fields is mesmerizing to behold. It is hard to match, but the expanse of the open ocean does beat it. We love spending time strolling along a beach with the sand squeezing between our toes. It is a wonderful break from our home, but in the end we are always ready to return to our corner of the world.

We are always looking for suggestions on destinations to add to our travel list.

Where Next?

In the eighteen months that we have been blogging, we have visited over three dozen cities. This has allowed us to meet so many new people and have tons of fun exploring. We have only begun to scratch the surface of the world around us. So many more Midwestern cities to experience, as well as destinations a little farther out. This year we have four more extended visits planned. July will give us a chance to experience Dodge City Days. August is filled with Oklahoma City, as well as Little Rock. September we will head to the Smoky Mountains, as well as Knoxville, Gatlinburg, and Cherokee, NC. In between these trips we will still be seeking out closer in day trip destinations. What are some of the cities you would like to see us add to our travel list? We would love to show off some of your favorites.

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