Today we searched for a mountain. To be more exact, we searched for a specific part of the path near the Am Bodach peak on the Aonach Eagach ridge. This was one of our first views of Scotland growing up. It was home to the scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson runs across the mountain and looks all around him. Ambitious, we knew, but others had done it, so we wanted to try.
Even though I have those familiar places you will never see me turn down, whenever I am asked “What do you want to do?” my answer is almost always “Something new!”. Traveling is one of the easiest ways to experience something new.
I can’t pinpoint when my passion for travel began. I can tell you that my dad has an occasional streak of wanderlust that is better described as cabin fever, so at least I know I get that honest. I can also tell you that my sense of adventure and desire to experience new things was sparked and fanned into a flame by my Mama. It was often the little things she did that shaped this in me.
She fostered a spirit of discovery in me. Without ever leaving my home city, we were able to experience a plethora of international cultures. We explored their food, their culture and their languages. The international corridor meant yummy treats, friendly people, vivid sights, strange words and beautiful colors. International festivals were part of our homeschool curriculum. We even adopted a country booth every now and then at the kid’s festivals. She taught me to have an open mind and respectful heart.
My Mama loved to clean the house with the TV on. So, I grew up watching Samantha Brown travel the world, among other shows entirely dedicated to travel. I was transfixed by all of the places in the US and abroad that just cried out to my young little heart “come see me”. As I grew older, I longed even more to see the beautiful buildings, try the foods, meet the people, but most of all I longed to see the natural places. I wanted to stand in awe of the masterful creation.
So I explored! First with my family and then as an adult. Moving around during my high school years was tough, but I experienced many parts of the country you wouldn’t go out of your way to visit if you didn’t live there. We saw what the locals appreciated and experienced the “bucket list” places too. I went to some of those places I never thought I would get to see. Those little things she did led to pretty big adventures!
Sometime the small things make a bigger impact than things you would expect to.
The “top 10 places to (insert here)” are great, and some are a must see, but often it is the small things you remember the most. On a trip to Mt. Ranier, the vast wilderness and the mountain itself were very impressive, but the memory that I treasure the most is walking the nature trail beside the hotel. We found an old cabin and pictured what it would have been like to live there ourselves.
Whether you explore your own neighborhood or travel thousands of miles, the unexpected is often found in the nooks and crannies and usually just off the beaten path. Take time to slow down and enjoy the “small things.”