Enjoy The Ride Not Just The Destination

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination.”

-Drake

         Last week I drove my two dogs to the beach.  This does not seem like a big ordeal, but driving solo over 80 minutes to a British Norfolk beach solo with two older dogs can be cumbersome.  As we drove with my sunroof down, the dogs were loving every bit of the wind sprayed onto their face.  Regardless of the fact it was gray skies, it didn’t matter.  They were with their owner on an unexpected joy ride, and were ecstatic.  I closed the roof as it sprinkled rain, and automatically I silently cursed myself on not doing this on a more gorgeous day.  But I looked back at my dogs, and remembered I promised at least one trip to the beach this summer.  The ride seemed enough for them, it wouldn’t matter how long they were at the beach for or what the day was like.  

I arrived at the Wells-next-to-the-sea early in the day, or so I thought.  It was 10:30 AM.  Two parking lots were full, and a spill over parking lot was made available.  Intuition warned me of this, I knew the next parking lot was 1 ½ miles away.  I didn’t mind the walk, but my 14 year 2 month old English Bulldgo Puzo may not be able to handle it.  I brought a stroller (or as the Brits call it “pram”).  He got in, and the joyride continued.  We stopped along the way, to let their paws and my feet play in the shallow waters where the boats parked.  The sun began to shine on the newly formed picturesque day.  Puzo smiled as he sat next to his 12 ½ year old sister Bella in his pram.  They listened to the sea breeze and got the attention and grins of fellow beach goers.  We stopped at another shallow area to briefly cool off and take in the scenery, but our journey continued.   Past the scenic walkway, through the woods, towards the dog friendly area.  After the one hour stroll, we finally arrived to the beach.  We took in the scenery of vintage beach houses, happy families and friends, and dogs grateful to be included in the festivities.  The beach was gorgeous and serene, and I was grateful I could take them to appreciate the shore for another year.  I’m reminded our time together is limited, and every ounce of joy I can give them is worth it.  

Our time at the beach was definitely less than the hours of driving and walking to and from it, but it didn’t matter.  The entire journey there and back was appreciated by the dogs.  These animals de compagnie (French for “pets”) remind me to slow down and lavish in each moment. Although we may strive for the end result, we can indulge along the way.  The entire ride is part of the process to be enjoyed, not just the high of the beach.  There are multiple miniature thrills along the way.

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