I haven’t gone traveling in a while. I miss it sometimes–feet landing in a whole new place, exploring something fresh and brand new and different. When you travel, your entire self is engaged in the experience. You keep your eyes open and your ears wide to take it all in, because it’s special; you will only be there for a week or a day or a few hours and you must take it all in.
I miss that, absolutely I do…but then I realized today as I was walking to a local diner to eat breakfast with Mermaidhair how beautiful and cool my city is. It’s easy for me to slip into “local” mode and ingnore the unusual or brilliant things about my hometown. My neighborhood is on the northside, rising up the hill, the older part of town, and it really is beautiful and strange. There’s a gazebo in a little park outside my window. Uneven brick streets that are beautiful to look at and hellish to walk on stretch along rows of old houses with lush green yards and flowering trees, the breeze sending petals raining across the sidewalks. On an overcast day like today the colors stand out even more, the bright green of the budding trees and the folded tulips waiting for some sunlight so they can open again from their retreat, the gleam of the gold dome on Old Capitol.
Today’s my day off, so I can walk like a tourist through my own town, loitering in the used bookstores on Market Square, people-watch in the ped mall, gawk at the gorgeous unaffordable dresses in the Dulcinea shop window. I finally engage my senses, pulling out my earbuds and stopping to stare and take mental notes. I am present finally in the city where I live, in my neighborhood, then whammo, there’s that traveler’s rush, that excitement of discovery. And I didn’t even leave.