Explore Locally

“Travel is a glorious form of procrastination” –Here is Where by Andrew Carroll

Frequenting travel websites partially satiates my desire to disappear to a remote tropical island, but mostly, I peruse Kayak and Expedia because my job includes arranging travel for others. Booking airline tickets and hotel rooms that I will never set foot in is a little like standing on the sidelines of a road race. I would much rather be taking part in the action.

I read recently that planning a trip, even if you never take it, can be good for you-something about anticipation sending happy chemicals to the brain. Now you know why the Travelocity gnome is always a little loopy.

I remember traveling to Greece and Rome, finally seeing all the places that I’d learned about in school. Even though the ruins were…ruined, to be there allowed me to absorb a little of life in BC. It was SO cool, and I think about trips like that when I’m moving through the humdrum of daily life. Why mow the lawn when I could be hiking the Great Wall of China?

Time off from work and my meager bank account are two reasons why not.

My limitations started me thinking about how to open my mind to the everyday world around me. I shouldn’t have to travel to China to create new experiences. Instead of pushing a mower around the yard, I could lay down on the lawn with a pair of scissors to discover a new perspective, or I could delve into the local culture. There are streets in my town I’ve never driven down, people I’ve never talked to, and restaurants I’ve never tasted.

It doesn’t cost a lot of money or require a lot of planning (or Bonine) to achieve perspective and adventure. Most of us can find it around the corner or down the street if we are willing to do some exploring in our own backyard, and once you have made the effort, the experience won’t just be a memory, it can be shared over again with neighbors, family, and friends.