Traveling is not just about exploring places far and wide. While a tourist heads out to tick destinations from a long attractive list, travelers head out to explore the unexplored. It does not matter where the location lies. It does not matter how far or how near one has to travel to. What matters is the feeling of embarking on an interesting journey. A route that is more about adventures and memories and less about deadlines and limits. For a traveler who loves to experience the wonders of every destination, my idea is to feel, explore, enjoy and connect wherever possible.
This brings me to love my own neighborhood. Though exploring the wonders of our city/town or village seldom qualifies as a touristy experience, the underlying joy of stepping away from our door is still intact. It inspires us while we come closer to the wonders of nature or simply identify the novelty that our own area has to offer. More than often, we head out to mark our trips all around the globe, but how often do we look at our own surroundings with that same touristy zeal?
I totally agree that it hardly counts as a trip. When the primary purpose of a trip is to take us away from the boredom of daily routine, how can our own area provide the same? If we limit our trips to few miles from our home base, how can we possibly returned inspired? The idea is not to avoid long holidays whenever possible, but to also explore our location with a new look. Instead of reserving few special trips, I enjoy the aspect of converting my regular weekends into something different.
This points to the short fun trips, we take to the long range of mountains in our neighborhood. While I greet their wonderful sight almost every day, I jump at the opportunity of driving through them. An up, close and personal meeting during our hikes makes me realize that happiness is not about exploring places away from our location. The beautiful mighty mountains in our city have the power to inspire me as much as any other picturesque location on any part of the globe.
While I embark on the journey to explore them, I understand their significance in my life. I cannot possibly go to long trips every other month, but I can always experience the warmth offered by the beauty in my city. Opening my mindset to the novelty of these neighborhood mountains has changed my perspective in a number of ways. Though the factor of reaching out to something as close as 10 miles from home may seem too simple to mention, but the underlying joy of novelty makes it worth in every way.
Every time we walk through the mountains, it opens something different. To my wonder they never seem to be the same, instilling new thoughts and new ideas. The excitement of reaching out to something so close is beyond usual understanding. They appear to send an inviting cryptic message, waiting to be decoded. Eagerness to experience it all and desire to find happiness in the most obvious elements decorates the otherwise complicated story of our life. We postpone our happiness, dreams and desires to few limited benchmarks, but we fail to recognize the novelty that lies within our arm’s distance.
I cannot thank the Sierra open preserve enough because being in my neighborhood it has truly changed my attitude towards traveling. It is one of the best practical lessons that emphasize on the value of appreciating the present. The future is definitely filled with more exciting trips all around the globe, but not before recognizing what lies in my own backyard.
Appreciate the magic of trips in the neighborhood is the message loud and clear.
Whenever familiar experiences call, they may not necessarily be the same. I end up observing something different and learn a new lesson along these trips. “Do not postpone life, do not wait for the next big thing, and do not plan reactions to successes in future, rather open yourself to the moment right here, right now.” There is no rule book that says trips demand long journeys. It is definitely one of the ways to break monotony and be receptive towards novel cultures, places and people, but can include the unseen and unexplored, right close to home too.
The duration of a trip does not matter as much as the experiences gained and the memories made. I will always embrace these neighborhood mountains for all they give me. They are here to inspire, motivate, love and be loved. They emphasize over the value of present, and loving what is truly ours. The travel bug in me does not need long car rides or longer flights. It needs the opportunity to seek, hunt, and identify novelties that lie along the path. Like hidden gems waiting to be found, my neighborhood mountains wait for my yet another adventure.
After all, exploration is a never ending process. When the Neighborhood Mountains call, I make sure to attend to them quickly, nothing more exciting than cashing out unique experiences, once in a while…
Explore new gems in your own city/town. How does it feel? Does it inspire or does it seem just usual? Does it push you to make more trips around the globe or does it pull you to spend some more time?
Experience and seek answers, everything is right here, waiting for your open arms.