Reflection: Traveling To Become My Authentic Self

By Cacinda Maloney

Reflecting on my 32-day journey across Europe, leaving my family behind to find my authentic self through travel.


I arrived late last night, 24 hours after leaving Rome to make it to my final destination, which was the USA.  I was thrilled to see my family, as 32 days without them was quite a long time for any family and mine was no exception.

Anxiously awaiting my luggage at the airport, I reminisced with my son about the great time I had on my 32-day journey across Europe and caught up fast about things going on at home.  However, after a full 3 or 4-hour barrage of catching up with the family, I realized something.

Reflection: Traveling To Become My Authentic Self

Americans are workaholics.

They are a “do” society.  And I am not immune to this, even when leaving the States for over a month.

Here is me catching up on what my workaholic husband did while I was gone:

  • Took our oldest son on a college visit weekend
  • Made serious emotional decisions about ours son’s college
  • Re-upholstered 6 dining chairs in the kitchen with leather, himself
  • Did a pool remodel (with 5 quotes, meeting each person personally)
  • Bought 2 giant and 2 small throw rugs for the great room
  • Bought 6 pillows for the great room sofa
  • Had the captain’s chairs for the pool re-upholstered
  • Bought a new flat screen TV for my office with speakers and set it up (even though I told him I don’t watch TV anymore)
  • Bought 5 new outdoor fans for the patio and had them installed with help
  • Bought 2 new outdoor umbrellas, new pool toys, 2 new outdoor chairs and 1 outdoor rug for the pool area
  • Bought and installed 4 outdoor pull-down window shades
  • Bought 4 outdoor mats
  • Bought and installed a new shower head for the kid’s bathroom
  • Had his car taken to the shop for a windshield replacement
  • Dealt with the accountant for the taxes
  • Did the required FASFA for our son’s college
  • Dealt with the insurance company regarding an accident our son was involved in
  • Ran a highly successful Chiropractic Clinic 5 days a week for all four weeks, without missing a single day (actually he has only missed one day of work in 19 years).
  • Did his regular scheduled weekly 1-hour radio show for the clinic
  • Remembered to buy me a beautiful Mother’s Day plant
Mother's Day Flowers, Maloney Family

Mother’s Day Flowers, Maloney Family

Reflection: Traveling To Become My Authentic Self

The point is, he was exhausted by the time I came home and so excited to see me (and I imagine needed to get a little relief from all the work) and probably some recognition for all the work he had done.  After telling me how tired he was, I looked at him and said,

San Giorgio Hotel, Mykonos, Greece

San Giorgio Hotel, Mykonos, Greece

 “I believe at the end of the day, you need to look back at what life is all about and realize what really matters ”

Which he replied:

” Wow, being away in Europe for a month sure did give you that European perspective about family, friends, food and living!”

Nammos, Mykonos, Greece

Nammos, Mykonos, Greece

In 32 days, I, on the other hand, had visited 3 countries, 15 cities via planes, trains, yachts, buses, vans, cars, and taxis meeting more than 50 new people on a journey throughout Europe.  Some might say that I am a workaholic when it comes to travel, but I say it is a passion.

San Giorgio Hotel, Mykonos, Greece

San Giorgio Hotel, Mykonos, Greece

Mercato Trionfale, Rome, Italy

Mercato Trionfale, Rome, Italy

Each of us has to learn our own life lessons and for me, this journey was to remind me what is important in life.  To see the way Europeans live, and eat and socialize was such a reminder of the way I want to live my life.

Kiki's, Mykonos, Greece

Kiki’s, Mykonos, Greece

I no longer care if you like my house, my possessions, or me.  If you were going to like me, you already would have and if you thought my house was beautiful before, you should see it now.

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

I care more about the condition of my soul at this time in my life than the condition of my possessions.

Dele Olanubi Quote

Dele Olanubi Quote

Reflection: Traveling To Become My Authentic Self

I wanted to write this quick post, as a reminder to myself what is important in life:  God, family, friends and really living in the moment.  Food, fun, and family, not just doing a “to do list” day in and day out, not even a travel one.

Palazzo Donati, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Palazzo Donati, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

I don’t want to go back to that workaholic life because at the end of life, you die and you have nothing to show for it.  I want to die, knowing that I am loved by my family and friends and that even though I was once on that workaholic path, I am making conscious decisions in my life to get out of the rat race, become less materialistic and to live in the moment as my authentic self.

Mercato Trionfale, Rome, Italy

Mercato Trionfale, Rome, Italy

Thank you to those who have encouraged me to do so, I appreciate the support I have received along the way.  Even though my husband is not quite there yet, one day, I hope he makes it.  Soon, I think he will stand up and take notice, as living the example may be the only way he can understand.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Little Venice sunset, Mykonos, Greece

Little Venice sunset, Mykonos, Greece



  1. Pati Pakulis May 13, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Well said Cacinda!!!


    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Thanks Miss Pati! That means a lot coming from you.

  2. Sabrina May 13, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Amen, my friend!

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

      That’s right sista’!

  3. Mary Jo Manzanares May 13, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Welcome home! I always return home a different person than when I left.

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:05 am

      MJ, what a great way to put it!

  4. Jeff Buller May 13, 2014 at 7:52 am


    Thanks for the reminder!!

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

      We all need a gentle reminder every once in a while. It would be great if you could mention it to my husband, since he doesn’t read my blog!

  5. Mike (Nomadic Texan) May 13, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Such a great post. My wife is like your husband and still is a workaholic. I was for many years and then retired after just plain being worn out.

    The great news is our sons have all seen the damage my workaholic tendencies did and are actively trying to stay away from that lifestyle. They even travel a great deal.

    Thanks for sharing this as it is so true and as you age you realize that all the materialistic junk we accumulate is worth nothing in the end. The love of your family is paramount to a successful life IMHO!

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

      It is such a pervasive way to think in America. I was exhausted after hearing and then seeing all the work he had done while I was gone. I agree, that is causes such a great deal of stress and damage to the family unit and ones health. Funny how one life partner can get it, while the other partner carries on, too afraid to let go of this way of thinking.

  6. ALANA - PAPER PLANES May 13, 2014 at 9:19 am



    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Yes, thank you!

  7. Katherine Belarmino | Travel the World May 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

    You mentioned you don’t watch TV anymore. But have you seen the Cadillac commercial about how Americans work hard and only have two weeks of vacation . . . ? It makes me so angry because it is exactly what I believe is wrong with America. Even if travel isn’t you’re thing, I think we all at least need time off to connect with ourselves and our families and remember why we’re here on this planet. I hope you are able to hold on to the life discoveries you made on this trip.

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

      No, I have not seen the Cadillac commercial, but can imagine. Thanks for your support and reminder to hold on to the life discoveries I made on this trip.

  8. Marshall Jackson May 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Awesomeness. 🙂

    • admin May 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Thanks MJ!

  9. Lance | Trips By Lance May 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Thankfully my wife has the same outlook on this as I do. We do not believe like the ’80s song about “working for the weekend.” We work for every day. I will say one of the main things that keeps me at my job is I’ve earned three weeks vacation and am close to having four. I enjoy my job, it’s just that I’ve thought about leaving it for a better paying one. But I don’t want to sacrifice that vacation time. So I take on more freelance writing to feed the travel need. And you know I’ll be coming back often to get inspiration from Greece.

    • admin May 15, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Consider yourself lucky Lance that you and your wife are on the same page of the way you see the world. It is a constant source of struggle to finally get the other one to see you your view of the world. Greece posts will be up shortly!

  10. jenny@atasteoftravel May 15, 2014 at 7:14 am

    I can relate to this post so much Cacinda. After 8 months away I was unsure how I would cope returning home. I am encouraged by the fact that it is only a couple of months before we leave for another 6 months away but I do know that sadly this life cannot continue for ever. I too will have to adapt my life at home and know that the first thing I will be doing is clearing out the excess possessions we have in our life. We have survived in gypsy mode with a small suitcase each for over a year now and are very happy about it!

    • admin May 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Jenny, you are so blessed to have 8 months on the road, to explore this earth with your partner. I hope one day, my partner slows down enough to see the world with me. We used to see it together all the time, but now that I have started to work within the travel industry, he has focused on the retirement years of work. I cannot blame him, although sometimes, I worry, in the end, that all the work and stress could make for a bad ending to life.

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