Someone recently asked me an interesting question. “If I had the chance to travel to anywhere on the planet, where would that destination be?”
Answering that question turned out to be more a challenge than I anticipated. Certainly, there are many places and attractions that I would love to experience. And many places I would love to re-visit, for a wide variety of reasons.
I suspect that given enough time and money, I could take in many places on a proverbial bucket list. And there are a number of places that might interest some folks, but hold little appeal for me.
There are a number of places with family history that call. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales could take up a fair amount of effort. And more than a bit of Germany, Austria along with Northern Italy could be of interest, too.
Closer to home? Plenty of places I have not been to in California and Nevada worth taking in. Along with a number of favorites that all have great memories associated with them. A sunrise over some places in Nevada, far away from civilization, manages to be humbling and grandiose as one realizes how little you are in the overall picture. That things out there have not changed in thousands of years, despite the comings and goings of man.
As well, you need to place some perspective along the way. One example may be to consider why people came to such a place. What were the needs that drove them to a spot? Often, the search for a better life, opportunities that could not be found elsewhere… all came into play at a place and time. A chance with fate that either paid off or was just a stop along the road to somewhere else.
Travel today is usually the method to get from point A to point B. Taking the quickest road or the shortest flight to get there. And anything along the way that does not grab attention, usually ends up missed or bypassed as we take the expeditious route.
I’m not saying we all need to stop in and see the largest ball of twine or the house of mud on every trip, but taking in more along the way certainly won’t hurt now and then. A gem or nugget may lie in wait, but you won’t know until you find it.
So, I would hope that given the chance, I might take that road or path I haven’t been down before more often than not. But that doesn’t mean I won’t visit places I have been to before. Some are worth a stop again. Even a few stops. And the journey has to include folks seeing places for the first time or sharing the memories of past adventures.
For in the end, people make a trip worth the time. Those you meet along the way and those who travel with you. Throw in the passing panorama and it all comes together.
Experience is the sum of all things. Hopefully, it is why we go where we go.
My heart is warm with the friends I make, And better friends I’ll not be knowing, Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, No matter where it’s going.
Edna St. Vincent Millay