Monday, December 17, 2007

Shaking Up the Routine

Travel is something that I can always count on to give me a new perspective. When I am stuck in a rut and can’t seem to get out of a nightly routine of sitting on the couch watching Tivo-ed episodes of Ugly Betty and the Amazing Race I sometimes get depressed. While I am comfy snuggled up under my blanket on the couch with the scenes flashing before me, sometimes I feel like there is so much more out there I could be doing. So much I could be learning, even small things that would greatly change my life and make a much larger contribution to my happiness than keeping up with Betty Suarez.

I think about the experiences I’ve had just a plane ride or car ride away when my routine is totally shaken up: stomping on a barrel full of warm squishy grapes that stained my feet purple for a week,

getting a glimpse of the actual John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence,

eating dinner with a Korean woman and a Brazilian woman in Spain who have somehow become friends without even speaking a common language,

picking up my feet and letting myself zip line across the rain forest through a cloud even though I was terrified,

choosing to walk across nearly the entire country of Spain for my summer vacation.

I think travel gives me back that childlike feeling of limitlessness. Before being saddled with all of the rules and social pressures of adulthood (“Don’t do that! You could get hurt, get messy, spend too much money, too much time, etc.”) dreaming the impossible and expanding our experience was our number one priority. Lost in a new place without the comforts and routine of my home life I feel free to take more chances, do the things I’ve always wanted to, be the person I’ve always wanted to be.

Even though travel can be the catalyst we need to break ourselves away from our routines in order to try something new, these activities I’ve mentioned above all have something in common that I don’t need to leave my hometown to find. The rush of giddiness doesn’t come from jumping off of a high rickety platform and almost dying, but instead from stretching myself. Its seeing the line in front of me between what is comfortable and easy and what is risky and scary and dancing right over it.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop traveling. I love it way too much. (In fact I already have plans for a ski trip this February with a group of friends, and I am hopeful that we will get to take a trip to Macau and Hong Kong this summer). But in the coming years I want to bring some of the excitement and newness to my life at home. I really want to seek out ways I can participate in my community and live with that traveling spirit right here at home as well as on the road.

1 comment:

Nanette said...

Awwww, lovely post!

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