This past week, a huge hurricane demolished The Bahamas, and threatened the coast of Florida and states on the east coast of the USA.
When travelling, you have to be flexible and prepared to change your plans depending on local situations. I was looking after four amazing dogs in Coconut Grove, a neighbourhood just south of Miami.
Originally, my hosts were going for 2 weeks to the UK, but due to her pregnancy and their baby’s nightmarish behaviour on flights, they decided to return early.
This was no problem as a couple near Cape Canaveral asked me to look after their cat for ten days. However, Hurricane Dorian was headed straight for Cape Canaveral. Their vacation resort was closed due to the hurricane, so they cancelled.
I should have packed up and gone somewhere else, but a friend of mine insisted I head over to the west side of Florida and stay in her category five resistant condo.
It was an interesting feeling to watch a massive storm inch across the Atlantic Ocean.
Then it stopped. Right over The Bahamas.
I have some friends there and fortunately, they are alive. Sadly, one of their homes was flooded. They were devastated as they watched the destruction of their beautiful islands by 180 miles an hour winds, and the loss of life.
I thought how lucky I was.
Being in Florida that close to one of the biggest hurricanes ever, gave me a very different perspective compared to when I watch the news about storms from the safety of my home up in Canada.
And that’s one of the ways travel impacts your life. It gives you a deeper understanding of life, our planet, the people in it. We see so much violence and fake catastrophes on fictional TV shows, that it numbs us to the emotional reality of people whose homes are washed away or destroyed by falling trees.
Travel increases empathy.
As I write this, Dorian is moving north, still dangerous, and its story is not over yet.