Why do I love to travel and experience new adventures? Why do I find myself looking at photos of faraway places with lustful eyes and yearning in my heart? On the other hand, why are other members of my family content with staying near home? Why me?! Why not me?!
I remember as a child growing up in Alabama, our family had a globe. They were very popular in the 60’s and 70’s. Most families had them along with a set of Encyclopedias. The globe sat on a table in the den, the encyclopedias on the bookshelf nearby. I often read from the Encyclopedias but the globe, rotating on its axis, captured my complete attention. It was a little larger than a basketball but, for me, it was ‘the world’.
I would spend hours spinning that globe while lightly touching my finger to the side. I would fantasize that one day I would visit the spot where the globe stopped. Never mind that it was often in the middle of the Indian Ocean! Spinning that globe taught me a great deal about our world. I learned national capitals, mountain ranges, and the locations of countries worldwide. But most of all, I cultivated an interest and desire to travel and experience places far beyond my small Alabama hometown.
We didn’t travel far as a family. We once drove to Pennsylvania to visit relatives but most vacations were spent in the Great Smoky Mountains or the Florida panhandle. We stayed at the same motel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for many years in a row. It was comfortable, familiar, and safe; much the same for Florida too.
As early as high school, I vividly recall proclaiming that I was leaving my small hometown to see the world when I grew up. It was just as much the desire to run from home as it was running to new and exciting places.
I’ve been blessed to travel and experience many places in the world – Europe, South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, and most of the USA. I love planning the trip almost as much as the actual experience. I thoroughly enjoy learning about new places, a town’s hidden gems, local dining favorites – especially the best place for dessert.
I enjoy sitting in the local diner and listening in on conversations of the local folk. It’s important to me to know what their life is like, what they’re concerned with, talking about, excited about. That’s travel for me. It is so much more than seeing the sights and checking them off the list before moving on.
For me, travelling is an immersive experience to savor the sights, sounds, and flavor. It’s an occasion to explore, learn, and identify with the people. Traveling has not only enlarged my world but also my heart, allowed me to accept other cultures, and embrace other points of view.
There are far more places to see and experience. I’ll continue to chronicle and share images along the way. Perhaps one day, I’ll even post images from Seychelles…located in the middle of the Indian Ocean!