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Traveling for me brings the joy of discovery – the joy that comes from experiencing new cultures, and of meeting new people and learning of their stories. Right now, while you are reading this letter, I am on a trip of an entirely different kind.

Every August since 2004, my husband, my two kids and I travel to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we join my sister, her husband, and her three children. There is a rhythm to our days and we follow the script set many years before.

The ritualistic sameness provides a high contrast background, making visible that none of us is quite the same person who was here ten summers ago – or even last summer! And, so it is that I delight in discovering each of my loved ones anew.

During long quiet walks in the sand, I reflect on the person that I’ve become over the last year. And, I make commitments to myself – necessary ones – so that when I return in one year’s time, I will be able to experience the joy of discovery when I encounter myself on the beach.