Travel Lessons From the Azure Window
On March 8, 2017 one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders collapsed into the sea, forever gone from this world. The Azure Window, also called Dwejra Window, was a rock formation on the western coast of Gozo (Għawdex), an island that is part of the Maltese Islands (Malta). This limestone, rock formation with all of its picturesque beauty captivated the hearts and minds of millions of would-be travelers, nomads and throngs of people suffering from wanderlust, who saw it as an emblem of exploration and travel much like many of the world’s great travel destinations. Now that the Azure Window has succumb to the same erosive forces that created it and its crumbled arch lies beneath the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, what lessons does this ancient and world famous natural wonder have to share with us?
Travel Lessons from the Azure Window
Nothing is permanent
All amazing, beautiful and wondrous things are temporary. Whatever it is that you want to see on this amazing planet we call home, you must understand that everything is finite. Whether it be 20 years or 10 million, everything has a start and end date attached to it. The Great Wall of China, the ancient Silk Road, the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Antarctic Ice Shelf, Machu Picchu these epic wonders of the natural and man-made world are icons of our planet and are destinations for any world traveler. Likewise, they are all struggling to stay alive as they resist the ravages of time. If the Azure Window teaches the traveler anything it’s to prioritize your experiences and act to see and experience the things in life that you most desire to have as memories when you look back on life. I’ll never see the Azure Window in person because I delayed by trip to Malta (Free Amazon Prime Travel Guide to Malta and Gozo) because of other things that I decided to be more important. Now, looking at it all again, I could have easily rearranged some things to make that trip happen but it never occurred to me that the iconic Azure Window would be gone during my lifetime. So take a lesson from the now crumbled Azure Window and act upon your travel interests while there is still time.
Things are cool, but experiences are forever! You’ll take your experiences with you to the grave and I bet we’ll all look back on all the things we wanted and attained with much less satisfaction than the experiences we had. Experiences add flavor to life and embed memorable surprises at every turn. I can’t help but think that my planned trip to Malta would have allowed me to taste amazing foods, meet incredible people and to travel with others who have a zest for life all with the Azure Window as a backdrop to remember it all. It would have made an epic Instagram post too don’t you think? The collapse of the Azure Window teaches us that experiences matter because not only is our window of opportunity for experiences often limited, but so are our chances to have memorable experiences that we might never know the impact of in our lives if we continually delay our desire to travel. Nothing lasts forever and experiences are worth the investment so travel often and make your time traveling count!
Use our time wisely
We only have so much time on this great Earth. Each of us has a life to lead and a legacy to leave behind. What will your legacy be? The Azure Window is a reminder that each and every day is an opportunity to improve life not only for myself, but for everyone I interact with. Tolerance, love, compassion, empathy, accountability, boundaries and generosity all come to mind when I think of the things that guide my interactions with people. We only have one at bat at this thing called life so let’s agree to use our time wisely and to help each other make life better for everyone around us. It’s cool to think of the positive effects even one person can create in the lives of others if they’re using each and every day to create a better place for themselves and others. Let’s set our minds to using our time wisely. To work when work is needed, to save money and resources when that is what matters and to share, be generous, explore, travel and to be decent, loving human beings at every opportunity.
These are some of the lessons the Azure Window held for me. Now that it’s gone, I can be grateful for these things as I may not have considered them had this natural wonder not passed away that fateful stormy night.
Safe travels my friends!