23 Aug

Finding Your Peeps

A recent article got me thinking about why I love travel, and talking to people who travel, and painting scenes from my travels – like this one of Chania harbor, on the Greek island of Crete. According to Psychology Today, there’s actually a scientific basis for it.

Whatever people rate as important, their friends tend to be very like them on that trait. Research shows that friends are more similar than strangers. In fact, they are as genetically similar as fourth cousins.  Opinions on everything from loud music to exercise are more similar among friends than strangers. It’s no secret we usually gravitate towards those who are like us.

People who rate highly on being open to new experiences, however, are likely to move around more and have friends who live far away. People who rate low on openness tend to list mostly relatives as their friends. Since so many of society’s problems arise when people are disparaging about those who are different, it seems a bit more openness and some travel could do us all a lot of good.

So maybe openness is the trait that keeps me in touch with former neighbors, school buddies and coworkers. And it keeps me traveling to new places, so I can share those experiences with you in my paintings!


  1. Hello Beth,
    Checking in from Vietnam. Love the post. Totally agree with your assessment and am happy to continue my Bruce Dixon tour of the world. 2 years into this part of the journey and I’m astonished by the shifts in my perspectives.
    Keep traveling!

  2. Yep. Rings true for me. When I look at my FB friends, for example, they are spread far and wide. And I’m on my 27th mailing address! Lovely painting. Miss seeing you. Hope we meet up again soon.

  3. Writing to you from our 19th address in 32 years, I agree with everything you said. I am so glad you are one of the friends I have taken with me from CT to WI, and especially glad that one of your paintings — sunset on a two-lane highway) that captures another type of travel you and I love — came to WI too. d

  4. With you on that, Michelle! LOL Robyn, happy to bring back fond memories of beautiful Chania. Venetian fort turned nautical museum. Ottoman bathhouse turned fine restaurant. Breakfast served on our balcony was sufficient to fill us until dinner. And oh, that gorgeous harbor!

  5. Beth–travel lovers always make friends wherever we go–and find points of contact. We loved Crete–wished we had spent more time there–arrived in Chania harbor and had the most beautiful breakfast ever–took a photo of it. So glad you got to experience it as well–had a marvelous market, old buildings with character, fabulous museum and so many other interesting sights. Wish I could return. Thanks so much for your reflections.

  6. I am most definitely more like my friends than my family. Lol. For good, bad or indifferent. I guess it keeps it interesting.

    Love your reflections. ❤️

  7. I too love being in touch with those far-flung friends and acquaintances. Travel is sweet, but equally sweet is reflecting on one’s travels at home, after the jet lag subsides. That’s what you’ve done here, Beth. And you’ve painted those reflections.

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