I often hear people talking about wanting to travel far and wide to experience new things in far away places. While the world certainly does have innumerable things to offer a soul prone to wander, I sometimes wonder if it is easy to miss things that are close to home. There is even a subtle or not-so-subtle feeling among these types that wherever they are at is somehow not good enough for them. That a place is not worth visiting unless it is far away. Similar to how some high-school graduates feel that they have to attend college in some far away place.
When my wife and I first moved to a small mountain town in rural Pennsylvania almost two years ago we very quickly discovered that there were many things to like and some to dislike about the area. Picking up and moving to an area where we knew no one certainly came with its own set of challenges but nothing we couldn’t handle. In the back of our minds was always the thought that this was our first house and one that we would not stay in forever. Eventually we reasoned that we would move “back to civilization” and closer to family and friends again. I realized early on though that we couldn’t let our desire to move again limit how we lived now.
I remember one day telling my wife that we needed to embrace the place we are in. That we wouldn’t always live where we are now and should explore it and enjoy it to the fullest extent possible while we have the opportunity. What came out of that was experiencing things that we didn’t know Pennsylvania had to offer. Unfortunately when most states spend money advertising for things that tourists might find appealing, that money is often spent in other states to bring in tourists that aren’t already paying them taxes in some form. This can result in a situation where their own citizens are unaware of what the state has to offer.
I’ve found that adventures don’t always have to be a world away, they can sometimes be in your own backyard. While there is nothing wrong with wanderlust, don’t forget to explore what is close to home either. You may be surprised what you find.