The best way to appreciate home is to go away from home. The best way to discover yourself is to lose yourself for a bit. Leaving the day-to-day and pushing yourself into a place in which your daily routine cannot be maintained, in which you are forced to adjust and accommodate, helps you learn, grow and resist fixation. I wish to never be that beautiful butterfly pinned down in a display case (beautiful but not alive). I want to be ever changing, ever growing, ever dynamic. Travel is a huge part of how I keep reaching for that goal. And I have not truly traveled in a decade. I can agreed that I have never been one to travel greatly or widely. I’ve flown on more than a fair share of airplanes, hopping back and forth between cities but to TRAVEL is quite different. To sleep in less than comfortable (or familiar) places, to eat differently, to walk when one would normally drive, to depend on public transportation and the good kindness of the local people makes for traveling.
Granted, we went to the most civilized place in the western world: London. We rented a flat in the most toniest of neighborhoods: Nottinghill. We had the blessing of great technology: smart phones and Google maps. But we walked the equivalent of the Boston marathon three times, I’d argue. And that is a course rife with stairs and cathedral domes. For me personally, it was a forcible pushing through my own fear of doing something on my own. My oldest wisely commented that he is bothered by the fact that I don’t trust him to “get us there”. He is the self appointed navigator and I have to learn to depend on another person to take care. It was (and remains) a hard lesson. But I am astonishingly proud of myself. People watching me might think I am not a fearful person. I am quite fearful but I learn to push through fear. I refuse to let fear hold me down and this trip was my campaign to conquer a deep fear. And I think I have made great progress.