“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” – John Hope Franklin
“On a personal level, [the pandemic is] reminding me that, “Boy, life is short.” Life is precious. And, if you’re dreaming about doing something, there’s no better time than right now, if you can pull it off.” – Rick Steves
The world is slowly opening up, even as COVID is declaring it’s not quite done with us yet. So where do we go when the world and we are ready? In the United States, the National Parks are already almost fully booked. Everyone is thinking the same way; we must get out there! The next few years are going to be the flood of the masses making up for lost time. Knowing that, where do you find your quiet little corner of Paradise?
Personally, my vote is the most remote and obscure of destinations. Places where the RV’s can’t reach. Places where exercise and inconvenience are a toll many refuse to pay. The glories of the journey aren’t found elbow to elbow at the railing of the South Rim. They’re found when you hike deep down into the canyon to the silent reverence. When you wake up early and watch the sunlight dance on the canyon walls.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that there are folks jamming into National Parks in record numbers. The more people who see and experience the wonders of the world, the more people will care enough to protect it for future generations. Pack ’em in. Buy the magnets and stickers and t-shirts. When I visit those places I do it too. Just try to peel back the onion a layer or two deeper while you’re there. Find the secret places hiding just around the corner.
The world has stories to tell us. It’s waiting for the change it will bring to you in that moment of connection between the ancient truth and your current state. Those moments that you’ll bring back to the rest of the world in stories of your own. For we travel out to reach within.