The view from Piazza Garibaldi overlooks Cortona and Tuscany’s rolling hills.

AFAR cofounder Greg Sullivan finds reasons to be grateful on a recent European tour.

I recently celebrated my 60th birthday with a trip to Ireland and Italy, and, as one does on milestone occasions, I found myself reflecting on my life and on how much I have to be thankful for. I’m so fortunate to be doing something I love and believe in: At AFAR, we help inspire, guide, and enable people to have deeper, richer, and more fulfilling travel experiences. And if I needed a reminder of why that matters, all I had to do was look around me. I was traveling with five good friends to Kenmare, Ireland, home of my ancestors, and Cortona, Italy, where one of my friends recently purchased a home.

We had a ball. We biked up to Healy Pass in Ireland (a trip organized by AFAR Travel Advisory Council member Cari Gray, of Gray & Co.) and to a Tuscan vineyard (thanks, DuVine Cycling). We took a boat out on Kenmare Bay, accompanied by Irish musicians. We cooked steaks in a 1,000-degree oven on the roof of a 400-year-old house and didn’t burn the place down. These are the kinds of beautiful moments that often come with travel.

I always appreciate spending time with those I love, and when I can do that while exploring the world, that’s even better. I hope that we at AFAR inspire you to get out and create more of your own cherished memories. Whether you’re in your own backyard or in some far-off land, every day is a gift, and I’ve learned to be grateful for every one I have.

article continues below ad

>>Next: Puerto Rico is Coming Back Strong — Nows the Ideal Time for a Trip