Close your eyes.
Okay, well don’t actually close your eyes. You won’t be able to read the rest of this.
Imagine you are half-way around the world–you’re in a completely new place, some place you’ve only dreamed of seeing. Take in how that makes you feel–you’re awestruck. You’re feeling so many things so fast you don’t even know how to process them. This is what traveling does to you. On the one hand, you are excited, ready to experience and see everything there is to see. You’re amazed by the stunning beauty of the land around you, and you’re probably a bit jealous that you don’t get to live there everyday. At the same time, you’re amazed to see how much of it looks familiar–ordinary, perhaps. And you’re even more shocked that the locals aren’t running around in awe and shock as well, craning their heads at weird angles just to admire all that is around them.
There’s a certain invigoration of being abroad, a certain magical quality that just makes everything so much more full of beauty. But the environmental aspect that struck me is how some place so different and so far away can look so much like home. I chose this picture specifically because it reminds me so much of Kansas. I can see Kansas in the trees and the grass, and even the half-hidden home looks like one I might come across if I’m ever wandering through the prairie. This picture was taken in the Scottish countryside. I can almost still here the grass swaying in the wind.
It’s so fascinating to see how humans as a race can yearn for anything and everything that isn’t where they are or what they have. I suppose we become desensitized to the ordinary, yet we are creatures of habit. Our contradictory nature baffles me. But it also fascinates me how the Earth can look so much alike, even on such very far distances. And how, the Earth can look so different, in such very close perimeters. I never stopped to consider how diverse and expansive America was until I spent a month in Britain. When I came home, I was astounded at how large a country we are. America is so large, we cover almost every type of climate zone, such as desert, prairie, mountainous, forest (several different types), coastal, etc. It’s incredible! And what’s even more amazing to me is how we, as Americans, look at ourselves and think we are such a small country. Perhaps not in actual size, but in mindset. We pride ourselves in individuality, yet–while you may witness small regional and cultural differences between states/multiple state areas–a Midwesterner and a New Yorker (not into high-fashion) might walk right next to each other, and if they don’t open their mouths, you probably wouldn’t know who was who.
But this is getting off track. The point is, traveling abroad puts perspective on your home, your life, and the lives of others. Not to mention, it’s extremely addictive.
And that’s where I’m at right now. The tough thing about this point in college is deciding where my ‘next’ lies. I honestly don’t know, but I’d love for to include some more insightful traveling. It’s frightening to not have a plan, but I suppose the best travel memories happen when you aren’t on a schedule, right?