It occurred to me that many of my bucket list places to visit skirt the outer edges of populated areas. I’ve written about a few places that are literally the edges – like the precipitous cliffs of Portugal and the easternmost point of the North American Continent in Cape St. Vincent, Newfoundland. I love being in places like that, and I’ll continue to seek them out as long as I’m able to.
I’m as eager to see Torngat Mountains National Park deep in Labrador as I am to see Paris. I’m looking forward to visiting London later this year, but anticipate the Northern Highlands of Scotland just as much. I want to see New Zealand as much or more than I want to see Hawaii. And while I love the energy in New York City, I adore the stillness of a forest or the beach in winter.
Perhaps I’m a loner at heart. That doesn’t mean I don’t thrive around people, but I don’t need people to be content. I appreciate solitude. Which is a good thing since the bulk of my job puts me alone in a car or a hotel room. I’ve become self-sufficient in travel, and in many parts of daily life. Stick me by myself in a garden weeding and I’m just as happy as I am when I’m at a family party. I think that level of contentment within your own mind is a good thing. I don’t need noise to drown out my own thoughts.
Maybe I should have been a lighthouse keeper. Or a meteorologist on the summit of Mount Washington. Or a solo through hiker on the Appalachian Trail. But then again, I’m a traveling salesperson, a gardener, a solo walker, a rower. Isolation isn’t the aim – I greatly enjoy those I’ve built my life around and banter with those I’ve just met – but when I need it it’s a welcome partner in my journey deep into the soul.