I could not wait to see the responses of this week’s On the Spot question, “What is the farthest you’ve traveled from home?” When I read the many responses, I was almost giddy and couldn’t wait to add some of the far off places to my own “bucket list.”
I admit it, I’m one of those gypsy souls who have to see the world and explore places I have never seen before. In fact, I picture myself as George Bailey in the old time Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
When I was 18, I probably even uttered the same words that Bailey announced within the first hour of the film, “I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know.”
But if you’ve seen the film, you know poor George Bailey gets stuck at home minding the family business and doesn’t travel very far. Or does he?
For me personally, traveling to new places and foreign lands helps me expand my viewpoints and enlightens me - even changes me a little - for the better. It puts a little bounce in my step when I return to my ordinary life until the travel bug hits me again. But does one necessarily have to travel to distant and far off places to grow and learn?
I have met plenty of individuals who are content to stay close to home and explore what’s beside them. I think it’s possible to have an adventure - to learn, to grow and to expand - in your own backyard and discover things that people often miss. There is magic in the ordinary everyday life, and for those of us who yearn for the next big adventure, it’s possible we forget that the daily journey is where a lot of life happens.
Marcel Proust has been quoted as saying, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I will always yearn for new landscapes as long as I’m here on this big huge earth. But I am going to do my best to enjoy and notice the run-of-the-mill adventures that, when paying close enough attention, can make a wonderful life.