When I was young, I yearned to travel. Tucson was boring and just about anywhere else was enticing. I visited San Francisco and thought what a wonderful place to live. I visited Japan and thought the same. The wheel of fortune turned and I had my chance to live in Oakland across the bridge from San Francisco. Rents were cheaper but you could take the Bart over whenever you wanted. It was wonderful. Lots to do. Japan was the same. I made the effort to go places, anywhere really because everything was interesting. Even though I lived there, I’d read guidebooks for places of note. Returning to Tucson, ennui set in instantly. I didn’t notice that the boredom was because I went back to my old habits. The things I used to do as a teenager (like endlessly window shop) no longer had any appeal. Mostly the problem was I went back to that passive teenage waiting, hoping that something interesting would happen and my life would start. When I started blogging, I also started living again as I did in Japan and in Oakland. I wanted cool photographs for the blog. Where could I go? I started looking in guidebooks and on the web. Tucson became fascinating. There was so much to see here, to learn, a lot of history, a lot of art. I couldn’t see it before because I wasn’t paying attention. When you travel, you pay intense attention to everything. You look for things to do and see, for foods to try out. Constantly exploring, you have random conversations with strangers, find out odd bits of information. Boredom comes from not paying attention, from being passive, from waiting for life to start. Boredom comes from within, seeping outward, coloring your life in grey. Do I want to travel? Always. Now when I have that yen to travel, I step outside my door with my camera, go anywhere. By looking for something intriguing, I always find it. I cannot believe I never visited Mission San Xavier del Bac until last year. It’s incredible. My past journeys have paid off in dividends. I have learned to pay attention to ordinary places and it magically transforms them into postcard-worthy locales. I know how to uncover the tourist places in town because guess what? Traveling is a state of mind, not a place to visit.
yawing, yin, yang, home
haibun by M. LaFreniere
I’ll be putting out the next round-up and next one on Tuesday. Almost caught up.
25th letter in the A to Z challenge 2019
this time I used “traveling at home”. I got back a strange mix of books, music and kiddie zoo animal stickers. The book At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe looked especially cool as a couple take the kids for nine months to wander the world.
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