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What Does it Mean to Travel?

What Does it Mean to Travel?

Since I own a travel blog, I’ve been thinking about what we mean when we speak of travel. Dictionaries define it as moving from one location to another, often over large distances. It’s normally an activity that lasts over an extended period of time. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but you can’t expect a dictionary to cover the topic in-depth.

If an executive travels on business to the other side of the planet, but spends her two weeks in hotel rooms and offices, do we find ourselves wishing we could have her life of travel? She’s traveling but it doesn’t quite seem to fit our criteria of an exciting travel experience. 

I expect we all want to see something new or different when we travel. We want enjoyment and a sense of having expanded our awareness. If a family travels from Germany to Houston, where they have fun discovering new experiences, what makes that different from when I make a 45 minute drive to Houston to experience those exact same places?

The real value of travel lies in being open to new experiences and ways of thinking; to discover that you can settle in to the moment and let go of your every-day concerns; to enjoy the excitement of doing something different. If that’s what’s implied by the word travel, then that’s an experience we can have in our home town, state, or country.

As we move through familiar spaces, we have a tendency to stop seeing the details. It can be fun to make a goal of seeing things differently. Take a picture of every water feature you see, look for architectural details and patterns, take pictures of dogs or windows or lampposts. The goal is simply to come home realizing that there’s more to the world around you than you realized. These are the experiences that ignite interests and stimulate new ideas. Have some fun turning the mundane into something much more exciting. 

One of my favorite places in Houston is Mercer Botanic Garden. I’ve taken more pictures there than I can count. I’ve also posted a story about it here on the blog. I decided to revisit the garden yesterday, but this time I would only use my macro lens while photographing it. A very different world from the one I’m used to seeing opened up, as if I was seeing the world through a microscope. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures and think about how you could come up with your own approach to seeing the world in a new light.

The Cistern

The Cistern

Houston's Museum of Fine Arts

Houston's Museum of Fine Arts