I have been fortunate in my lifetime to have already done a good deal of traveling. By some standards, I’m still very much a novice, but by many others I’m an upper class world explorer. That has a nice ring to it actually. I think there should be a world explorer patch. They’ll give it out once you acquire a certain number of travel points. Let’s make it a thing…it’ll be great.
It’s quite important, I think, to travel as much as you can. In doing so, you can really gain an appreciation for the beautiful things this world has to offer. You don’t even have to travel too terribly far. Traveling to the next city can still offer you something new to discover and enjoy. You would be amazed at how much the trees can change in the time it takes to get from one county to another.
Last August, I graduated from college, and since then I’ve been quite the vagabond. Granted, all of my ‘homes’ were still in one state, but I spent three months or less in all of them. So I do know a little bit about discovering newness by means of travel. In fact, I’m about to embark on my (hopefully) last big move for quite some time. I’m heading up to New York City! This has been a very long time in coming, and the opportunity has finally arrived. Filled with excitement am I at the prospect of all the gloriousness I’m inevitably going to experience there.
As a way to bring closure to my 23 years of Florida, and to give myself one last good road trip extravaganza before I join the hustle and bustle of the New York City public transportation system (My own car in NYC? You’re out of your damn mind!), I’m taking a drive up to North Carolina to visit my mother. Along the way, I’ve made a pit stop in my college home of Tallahassee.
After a little over four years of living in this college town, it’s strange to be back as a visitor. Four years is quite a long while. Even for the homeless at heart (see Forever Homeless), four years has a way of making a place really feel like home. Four years of the Tallahassee college experience, though, is also enough time to make even the most mindful beauty seekers in the world a bit cabin feverish.
When I left this city, it was for good reason. I was ready. Years of the same streets, trees, bums, and of course the endless mind numbing exams and papers sort of blinded me to the beauty that drew me here in the first place. Living anywhere for too long can do that to you.
Sometimes it is so easy to forget just how amazing our surroundings are.
That’s why I think it’s so very important to travel, even to places you once called home. You know, I decided to move to Tallahassee (and attend the Florida State University…go Noles!) because of the trees? Of course you didn’t know. That’s why I just told you, silly. Everywhere you walk on the campus you can find the most gorgeous oak trees. I made one trip to tour the campus before I finished high school, and I fell in love.
By the time I left Tallahassee though, even the oaks seemed to have lost their luster. I was so ready for something new that I lost sight of their beauty. Forgive me, dear tree friends.
So to my established ideas of travel, I would like to make an addendum: As important as it is to travel always onward to someplace new, it is equally important to view the familiar places in our lives with visitor’s eyes.
Now that I don’t live here anymore, the city does seem much greener. I’m sure it is the same as when I left it, but my eyes are no longer the clouded eyes of a resident. My once familiar home is new to me again, and I am very grateful for it.
On this Monday, wherever you are in this great big world of ours, I ask you to take a moment and really look around you. If you’re on an adventure (to get your world explorer patch, of course), then take in every ounce of beautiful newness that you can! And if you are in the place that you call home, take a mini vacation of sorts. Travel from your couch to your door and from the door to the world beyond.
Every day is an opportunity to experience the world anew. Are you willing to see?
As for me, I’m almost ready to make the move to my next home-for-now. How long I’ll be there, I really can’t say. But I know this one thing for sure: however long it is, I won’t forget to appreciate everything around me ever again.