In listening to most travelers, and maybe a few travel writers, one would think that the best adventures are those found and sought out in distant lands. One would also believe that the best stories, the best pictures, or the most bragging rights come from these exotic, far-reached trips.
Though I love and dream of travel to far, exotic places just as much as the next person, I still hope to send the message that it’s really not where you travel or how far you go, but rather what you get from any experience you take on whether it be around the corner, or in distant lands, with your kids or not. And though I do think it is important to travel outside of your safety zone and beyond the borders of what is your norm, I also think that if we only give value to those trips, we risk taking for granted the things we could learn from that which is right in front of our faces.
More often than not we get caught up in the pretty pictures on glossy travel magazines and then, when looking at the reality of our lives (and our budgets), it is so incredibly easy to come to the conclusion that maybe these things are something outside of our reach. This than leads to us proclaiming that travel is just “not something we can do right now” because of the kids, because of our budget, because of our jobs, or all of the aforementioned.
As someone who went from traveling often to not traveling at all to rediscovering travel that fits my life, I have to agree with the famous quote (which apparently is despised by many of my peers, though I am not really sure why) “it’s the journey, not the destination”.
The point is that no matter how lackluster a destination may seem superficially, when one searches deeper one can find that there is always the possibility the experience can lead to something worthwhile and positively unforgettable.
I have often been given advice to not go to certain places because “there is nothing to do there”, but I have to wonder: is there really nothing to do there, or has the person just failed to discover it? I have also spoken to seasoned travelers who have gone to what I believe to be amazing places, yet they have walked away without ever seeing why it is so.
Create your own adventure, set forth on your own journey. Don’t let others dictate its worth. Open your mind and let your curiosity guide you. And finally remember, no adventure lacks in value, no matter how near or far.