Culture | Exploration | Learning | Philosophy | Travel

Along the Way and Back Again

“Whatever takes you to a place is less important than what you find when you get there.” – Rolf Potts

Do you feel the pull of certain places? I do, and quite frequently. Local and faraway places call to me, even as I stay busy in the garden and with small projects in the home. It’s the venturing forth to the unknown that I miss in these moments. What have you not been experiencing in your bubble that could be experienced by going there? That’s the draw of travel. Discovering the previously unknown bits of the world and in the process finding something in yourself that you didn’t know was missing.

Instagram, YouTube and other media bring the unknown to us every day, without leaving your chair. But this is the highlight reel stuff that just scratches the surface on what’s really happening in the world. There’s nothing immersive about a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower, but it offers a check on a box we all feel compelled to get to one day. The interesting part of that moment is what you do next; rush off to check the next bucket list item or immerse yourself in the nooks and crannies of a place?

Over the winter I spent many days on snowshoes walking through the conservation land in the town I live in. I felt and saw things that I’d never encountered before in the 25 years I’ve lived in this town. And when walking the narrow streets in town, I’ve experienced something similar walking the opposite route from what I’d normally walk. And I recognize in those moments that you don’t have to go very far to discover what you’ve been missing out on, you just have to change your perspective.

Perspective can only be changed by altering your viewpoint. Seeing your place in the world in a different way than you’ve always seen it. And that requires something more than checking a box, it requires seeing what you’ve been missing along the way. And understanding what’s changed in you when you’re back again.

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