"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine
I follow a fair number of RV related people and businesses online and often see quotes like this. While I love traveling, I don't feel they apply to everyone or that travel is truly necessary like they often suggest. I don't believe anything is essential for everyone to experience. Each is unique and entirely individual so, while I sometimes like seeing these quotes, I don't really agree with them.
I recently met a sales rep who commented how some towns he drives through he knows little about and asked me if there is really something to see or do in every town. I said yes. This came about as I was explaining that I like to go from town to town VS taking the highway because I want to SEE the country. I'm not just driving through it. It reminded me of a woman I spoke with in Bloomington, MN this Summer who talked with me about all sorts of places she or her family had visited yet drew a blank on what to see in the area. Being that she was from there, she hadn't explored it in the same way. Yet I recall the driving instructor I practiced with during driver's education as a teen had lived his whole life in a town and seemed so thrilled with it, knowing the history and sharing with such enthusiasm. (Funny enough I remember he didn't feel it was necessary to practice or learn parallel parking because I'd never need to in the area... I insisted as I was in a nearby city often and even in my own town at the time, there was some parallel parking. Also, seriously, I wanted to know how to drive including parking... I digress. :))
One of the most interesting and like-minded people I've met yet was a 20 something of age skater in Florida earlier this year. I mentioned him previously in Starting and Joining Conversations as a Solo Traveler. He came to the USA from Vietnam as a young child and had hardly traveled more than maybe an hour or so away from his home. That amazed me, yet he seemed so happy in the small town, making his life his own, living how he pleased, knowing lots of people in it. In fact, it was partly that he didn't recognize me that drew him over to say hi. We live so differently still share such similar mindsets and approaches to life. He eats when he is hungry, and sleeps when he is tired, for example. Something so natural as that may seem crazy to many.
Some people have commented on how they are loving seeing pictures and hearing about my travels. For some, it's a neat idea they'd likely not actually want to do themselves. For others, it gives an example that it CAN be done. And others still may be inspired just to get out more in their own area and say yes more when opportunities come. Again, each person is different and will vary, those are just a few responses. I'm convinced that a person traveling is not necessary - I or someone like myself or some other resource, can come to you and we can share in our differences the joys we have in common. That can bring about similar or greater personal expansion and you don't even need to leave your home for it.
"Well traveled" is like "well read." Doesn't how and why and where you travel make a difference as what you read does? I'm not interested in glorifying either. I'm also not really interested in judging your reading material. (One of my favorite books is by Crayola titled, "This is the Moon or Is It?" A great book, geared to children, however, I love it and got it as an adult. It is filled with pictures of what might look like one thing and becomes something else and something else... love it.)
There is also this somewhat common theme of an idea about people in businesses with offices and 9-5 type jobs being unhappy and longing for travel. This is not true! Not for everyone. There are people who have jobs like that who love it. They love their office, the people they are working with, the stability and flow of the job. At one point, I was one of them. If you love your job, wanderlust and travel may not even be on your mind other than an occasional vacation. There can be excitement in your days whether you are traveling or not. For what it is worth, not everyone who travels a lot enjoys it. This is not a one size fits all world nor would we really want it to be. The diversity is vast and fun and amazing.
I love this idea I came across one day:
and so does 8+1 and 7+2 and 3+6. Different can also be "right." There is more than one way to create 9 and there is more than one way to live a happy life and nothing says that just because you're enjoying how you are living now (or not) you can't change things and enjoy a different way later. And again and again and again. It is not what you do, it is how you FEEL as you are doing it.
If you're happy, I don't care what you are doing or where you are located or whether you travel much (or read books - we read so much in this society, without any books needed!) or anything else. If you're happy, I'm happy for you and perhaps our lives will cross paths. We each have something in common with everyone - yes, everyone- and rendezvousing with a variety of people and experiences can happen with or without traveling, reading, or whatever else. I personally love traveling and maybe I'll be that visitor who comes to you, as amazed and enthused about learning about your life, however you are living, as you are intrigued and curious about mine. That would be fun.
These are some thoughts I woke with this morning and a picture of a slightly cut off illustration I've had for years. It'd do us wonders if we'd shift from "right and wrong" as definitive for everyone and instead just focus on our own choices and desires, leaving the freedom to choose to each individual and the judgement of others' choices for themselves out of it. Live and let live, if you will.