Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau may have flourished in their sequestered lives close to home. Dickinson: often not leaving her room. Thoreau: not far from Walden Pond. There is nothing wrong with staying in your sanctuary, particularly if one is not pulled by a desire for the freedom of the open road. However, I believe that travel enriches the spirit by exposing the individual to other modes of thought. I’ve found that there are many other ways to live life which opens the mind to previously unfathomable prospects.
How Traveling Changes Us
While traveling, one is pushed from the comfort of their routine into an uncertain terrain that forces the individual to live in the present. Jack Kerouac, perhaps the quintessential traveler, wrote, “because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars.”
Those who encounter cultures and see new landscapes that differ from their own will begin to understand that although people everywhere have much in common, our lifestyles can vary greatly. To look upon other lands is to view the differences and not necessarily the disparities. This is a cause for celebration.
To be stationary can be myopic and in some cases further narrow one’s vision. This viewpoint can limit possibilities. For example, dancing which the Puritans perceived as sinful might be considered spellbinding beauty elsewhere.
The journey is about the proposal of adventure that awaits us when we abandon our routine lives for the open road. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “With people like us our home is where we are not.” Exploration highlights some of the most enjoyable and fulfilling ways to experience another culture, through food and drink. Cast off the monotonous; suspend your customary routine. Explore the possibilities that other worlds offer! We invite you to share in this joy with your own discoveries “rolling under the stars.”