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  • Carroll Devine

A Traveler's Eyes

Travel is good for the soul. It’s nutrition for the soul. For many of us, it’s a biological need, a profound itch to travel to new places or to return again to explore and experience in a new way, places we love.

But why do we feel this urge so strongly at times when it’s easy enough to “see” beautiful and exotic places, almost any place on the globe, through photos and videos? Through them we can have a “near-life” experience. Or can we?

It turns out that “near-life” is almost never good enough. Then again, some of us might take real “trips” costing hundreds or thousands of dollars and return home to feel less relaxed and renewed, more disgruntled and dissatisfied.

We travel to break the routine, to escape from everyday realities and responsibilities, to laugh, unwind and relax, to be rejuvenated, to feel sand between our toes, wind in our hair, to have our breath taken away by new vistas of beauty, which include us. We travel to learn something new, to bring new food tastes to our palates, to meet new people, to appreciate other customs and cultures. We may travel to expose ourselves to new physical challenges, or in some way to explore the worlds that lie within us and without us and to gain new understanding of them.

It’s not about racing from one hot spot to another, one must-see-place to check off our list, or about taking in as many touristic highlights as can be fit into a tour. It’s not about proving anything. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or involve packing bags or making arrangements for the dog while we’re away. It doesn’t have to involve faraway or exotic places at all, or even being away from home.

It is about taking a “breather” and gaining a new perspective. It is about not planning every part of the “trip” but allowing Serendipity to bring us elements of adventure and surprise – like being children again at Christmas.

It involves, as Jennifer King @JenniferLynKing says, “slowing down and letting the place seep in at its own time.”

This can be a world away or in our own backyard. After all, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller.

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