Traveling is a passion, but it also takes skill. Every trip I take, near and far, I learn new things that make the next trip easier. When I explore a faraway place, I often come home realizing that my curiosity about a new place teaches me things I don’t even know about my own home town. I am then provoked to learn something new about my home.
That is why I am excited to launch this column, Near and Far, as a way to explore not only the distant and exotic places, but also to look at my close surroundings through the lens of a traveler and not just as a local.
Local adventures can be a great way to acquire knowledge and skills that are helpful when we go far away. Learning to research places, events and activities are skills that work everywhere. Finding the free things to do in a particular area means stretching the travel budget, allowing for more travel.
The more I learn from my travels, the more I find my wallet opening up, finding greater value in experiences than in things. Finding opportunities to volunteer doing things we love can result in meeting people with common interests who could potentially be future travel partners or introduce us to new places and experiences.
Traveling is about nurturing curiosity and expanding perspective. Why do we travel? When we plan a trip, we often are thinking of it as entertainment, as a break from the daily routine, or a great adventure.
Perhaps we go to a place that has been on our bucket list. Perhaps it is because we saw a great deal or offer from a travel promoter and decided it was worth a try. Or, maybe a friend or family member proposed to take us to their hometown or summer home, and we go because of the great company, only to find great beauty and charm that we never expected. Some people find inspiration from places they see in movies. It is the wonder and awe that we can’t plan that is the most thrilling.
Regardless of the reasons I go somewhere, the most interesting and valuable lessons I learn while I am there are always something I could not have predicted. Its practicality may not surface immediately, but sometime later in life I will use a morsel of information I learned in my travels to connect with another human being, to inspire me to create, to help me with a project, or just to have a light bulb moment that will make some principle of the universe become clearer.
In reading my musings, I hope you will not only be inspired to try the adventures I have found to be worthy, but to create your own adventures, taking advantage of the opportunities that cross your paths to enrich life’s journey.
You can write to Victoria and share your feedback or travel experiences at [email protected].