Travelling is a state of mind. It is a philosophy. It is a way of living your life.
If you were to ask me what my philosophy on travel is, I would answer that it is to always try to learn new things, wherever you go, and be able to learn about other people’s joys and struggles. If you embrace a philosophy such as this, even going for a two hour walk through a park or a neighbourhood you’ve never visited before can be a travel experience.
We went for a walk yesterday morning in a direction we have never taken.
We discovered a series of long houseboats moored only a twenty minute walk from where we live. We also learned that these houseboats and many of the other longboats, all offered cruises up and down the river, a day out that I am certain we will take advantage of in the near future. As we are relatively new to the area, I am sure the owners have some great tales about the area.
We discovered that not far from the house boats was a tiny set of locks that allowed those longboats to navigate a small canal. There was a small outdoor café beside the locks where one could grab a cup of coffee or a snack while watching the marine birds swim past.
As travellers, we more and more try to get off the beaten path and experience the true essence of the exotic locations where we choose to travel. At the same time, we get stuck in our everyday routines of work, family, home etc. We talk only with our family, work colleagues, and friends who sometimes are a lot like us and have similar backgrounds and life experiences.
We sometimes feel like to learn about people we need an expensive transcontinental journey. If I told people that as part of a tour they would spend the morning in an exotic location picking local fruits, learning about the native wildlife, admiring historic locally built boats restored by hand, and taking a two hour cruise led by a local guide learning about river trade during the 19th century, people would pay me a lot of money to experience that. I am certain that within a small trip of your home that would offer a similarly rewarding day out.
The moral of the story is that we often fail to see and experience that which is just under our noses and all the time dreaming of far off lands.
If perhaps you are between globetrotting trips, I urge to think locally and discover things that might be in your town, two towns over, a thirty minute road trip away, or anywhere else you haven’t been around your home. It can be a nature walk, a visit to an obscure museum, or a trip to a working farm. It could be dinner at a mom and pop run Peruvian (unless you are from Peru) restaurant where you strike up a conversation with the owners and get them to break out their illegally imported Peruvian firewater. Perhaps you could even partake in a five hour blacksmith experience (a local activity I really want to try!).
Opportunities to learn and grow as a human being are all around you, just waiting for you to embrace them.
Safe and happy travels!