I wouldn’t say that I am the most widely traveled person in the world. Actually, by no stretch of the imagination, but I have traveled around the United States and a few countries abroad, and I spend a lot of my time thinking and daydreaming of my “escape”. I guess that is the best way to describe why I travel. I want to escape the regular, the mundane, the familiar. Yet many of my travels take me to places that remind me of home. The countryside in the Cotswolds, England; the back roads of North Carolina, USA; the small towns just about anywhere that cater to tourists, but know all the locals by name. Here are a few of the things I love about traveling.
I love to see different cities – the architecture of the buildings and bridges, old and new; streets that meander through neighborhoods filled with homes and restaurants and businesses; busy cities filled with people intent on going about their daily lives on bicycles, buses, in cars and taxis. Cities make me feel the vibe of the people that live there.
I love to go to museums. Each city, town or village has its own collection. I love quirky little museums that are no more than a single room with an excited curator who loves to tell you about the object they are most proud of. Large museums with their marble columns and ancient artifacts can make you ponder your place in the universe.
I love food. Regional foods in different parts of the United States and the world are fascinating to me. We all need food to live but different cultures and regions come up with such different ways to prepare and present food, not to mention the atmosphere of local joints. A barbecue shack in the South or small beer garden in Germany are different, but somehow the same when you realize that each is a gathering place for people to share a meal and celebrate something as trivial as the end of another work day.
I love to go to parks. Whether big national parks or small neighborhood parks in a city, everyone needs and craves that bit of green or a scenic vista. People hang out in New York City parks with their children, pets, and friends stretched out on the grass. Hikers in Utah scramble across the red slickrock to experience the solitude of a rock canyon with nothing but the sound of the wind as company.
I love history and the preservation of history in different places. There are stories to be told of the way people lived and worked, fought and played, governed and prospered. I love to imagine what life was like for people in a different time.
I love meeting and talking to people in different places – I’m not naturally outgoing, but I find that when traveling almost everybody can sympathize with you if you are lost and ask for directions or ask for a restaurant recommendation. They are proud of where they live and most people love to share that secret place that you need to go to shop, eat, see, or experience.
I hope that I can share with you some of what I think makes travel great. If you love something about travel, please share it with me. Leave a comment or send me a message. Maybe we’ll meet up on a journey to some place soon!