Written by Stamie Turner on July 20, 2013
My first attempt at blogging. I’m not sure who should be more scared. Me, the writer or you, the reader. I want to write from my heart of gratitude. I have embarked upon a journey with no set destination and I have a lot of women in my life to thank. So, to you, the very special women in my life, I dedicate and thank you for the inspiration of my new business, Cobblestones and Pomegranates….. Authentic travel for the particular woman… herdreamvacation.com. Okay, blog first, website up next…may take me a few weeks! be patient because I am trying to be!
I have been the particular woman. Particular about my friends. Particular about my mates. Particular about my clothing. Particular about my home. Particular about the places I travel, particular about my vacations and about how I live my life. Only recently has it been authentic and only because I felt very compelled to make a change. A change from a place of complacency to a place of adventure, excitement,particularity and authenticity. Following a dream I have only been able to imagine. A dream of bringing women together with a common particularity of adventure, travel, friendship, camaraderie and goodwill.
Travel has always been a part of my core being. As the child of a military man, the every year moves prepared me for embracing new places to call home and new friendships. Adapting was a natural and I thrived on being the new kid. The one with the different name and the center of attention. Not much has changed!
My wanderlust is natural. It has always been easy. There has never been any trepidation or timidness on embarking on a new adventure. I longed to be a flight attendant all through my growing up years. I ran away from home and took a first class flight. (True.) I didn’t take one spring break in college…I shared several with friends from other schools, in the same year. My first job out of college was with a travel agency and I was able to be “Julie” of The Love Boat fame and escort a group of 50 on a Bahamas cruise. An unscrupulous business owner of the travel agency, a yuck cruise line but an experience just the same! Travel was in my blood.
I once talked an unemployed husband into a month adventure in Europe when we had no passports, no money, yet, we left within the week with passports in hand and a Eurorail pass. How did I make it happen? Because it was meant to be and I was passionate to make it happen. I also raised my daughter to appreciate the same wanderlust. Even at the worst of times, I was able to figure out how to travel with her. How to do it affordable and how to do it so that we both would find appreciation, make friends and have “me” time. McKay recently found an old day timer (remember those?) and she commented about my travel. Yes, it seemed like every weekend I was off to somewhere, with or without her! And that off to somewhere is now my new business and that off to somewhere is her new career.
Cobblestones. A path. My journey. It wasn’t until my 50th birthday that I realized why I had been so drawn to Charleston as a young adult. It was my visit to Greece that connected all of the dots of my wanderlust, my appreciation for historic preservation and my desire to live in old houses and places designated as historic. I’m Greek! Greece is old! and there are streets of cobblestones. As a child and young adult, I had lived in both Greece and Italy. Both beautiful countries filled with old relics, good food, good wine and great people. College of Charleston, the oldest municipal college in the United States in a city filled with cobblestone streets!
I realized most of the places I chose to live or travel had cobblestones! I love those cities and they are the cities filled with history, life, good stories, dreams fulfilled and I want to be a part of it all. These cobblestones have been my path and it is a path I want to share. They may have paved paradise and put up a parking lot but it wasn’t a parking lot of cobblestones. My paradise has cobblestones, an enriching history, and is shared with friends. Women who have not been sure their own path. Women who have stumbled a time or two along their path yet are ready to brave an exciting, authentic vacation with a few friends, known or unknown, because they deserve it.
As a young girl, I was always fascinated by pomegranates. My grandparents in Greece had a pomegranate tree in their backyard and it was always such a treat to crack one open and eat it seed by seed. I never understood the symbolism or significance of the pomegranate but as fate would have it, my life would somehow always include them in either decor, jewelry, clothing or artwork. The recognition of that fact only to have occurred in the last few years as I thought about my desire for this business. Pomegranates: prosperity, fertility, good luck. A symbol in many cultures that represents abundance and generosity. It is also a part of Greek mythology. ( Imagine that.) Persephone is often portrayed holding a pomegranate in her hand and that she brings abundance and fertility upon the earth. Seeds that are nurtured and allowed to blossom and grow. Her world is then in full bloom and life rejoices. Persephone was a queen. Coincidence? I think not. So, the metaphor of the seeds for the continual growth, dormancy, and re-growth illustrates my life and the life of women I want to travel along side of. Women from all walks of life who are ready to share and be a part of an authentic trip, a vacation they have been putting off for one reason or another and traveling with a group who has particular tastes and expects the finer experience. The pomegranate’s hard shell represents the womb, the protection and warmth. The complacency we have lived as women to not do what we want to do. The time now is to break through that complacency, the excuses, and the demands placed upon us for the dream vacation. Her dream vacation. The world around us may go dormant but we will keep growing. And there is no better way to grow than to travel and experience other cultures.
So, as I looked around me. I found the pomegranates. I found them on my shower curtain, wall paper, accessories, paintings. I found them in old jewelry, favorite books. So weird. And then I read Sue Monk’s, “Traveling With Pomegranate’s”, picked up at the airport on my 50th birthday, only by chance because it was a quick grab to board my plane on time. I knew nothing about the story line but had a tremendous respect for the author and knew it would not be a let down. And it wasn’t. The book is about a mother/daughter relationship, a trip to Greece for 50th birthday, wanderlust, travel….sound familiar? Coincidence? God-incidence? The seeds had already been planted, I was only now recognizing and acknowledging.
Friends. I can live with them and can’t live with them. Different personalities, different agendas, different seasons of love and maybe not so much love. Women who have been hurt, not so nurtured and challenged by life. I have them all in my life and I love them all…most of the time. I’ve also traveled with these women. I have shared hotel rooms with them, flights, cars, food, wine and maybe a little more wine. they have been my life blood. My pomegranate. They have frustrated me, made me laugh, made me cry, disappointed me as I am sure that I have them. But the fun, the adventures and the memories bond us as much as the love and friendship do. I started this blog out of gratitude. I wanted to explain how I got to where I am today and the journey I am about to take as I meditate and pray on my Camino. It will be a path of gratitude to all my women friends along the way. maybe we see each other, maybe we don’t. Maybe we speak often, maybe we don’t. But this is and has been path and you have been the seeds along the way. Cobblestones and Pomegranates. My mother, my daughter and you. I thank you for the good times, the great adventures, the awesome trips, the weekends, and for being my support system. The seeds were planted for me to travel with friends, bring them together and find a path. Thank you, it is because of you. Wish me Buen Camino as I embark on an adventure of a lifetime and not just this trip to Spain. I am hoping for an abundance of laughter, good times and great adventures. Authentic experiences as I’ve shared with you….no matter how particular I have been! Again, thank you and I love you.
The Pom Queen