Traveling isn’t about physically moving and seeing – it’s about gaining perspective. As I sit here watching rain pitter patter against closed windows, with my trusty laptop and a cup of black coffee, editing photos as I go, I’m randomly reminded of something a visiting foreign friend said to me once.
“Your city is so strange.”
Naturally, I blinked back and made him explain.
He was from a place in the north of France. It was his first time in North America.
Then he told me, “This is the first city I see the ocean and mountains and skyscraper and residential apartments all crammed into a tiny space of land. Also—“ He said with his charming French accent.
“It is strange that nothing here is older than two hundred years. No monuments, no statues, everything’s so new.”
It was true. Not to mention, concrete everywhere blocks off the wilderness, separation attesting to pioneer efforts in conquering new lands.
Factually speaking, I knew that already, the information was easily accessible from history books or online. But, it was how he said it that opened up my eyes. His eyes were lit like he was the one to discover this part of land for the first time, not those who perched a flag on untouched soil centuries ago.
When you live somewhere long enough, even if it was your adopted city rather than your birth city – everything fades into the background – as if your brain stops being stimulated by the mundane so immediate daily tasks could be given priority – tasks like, check the grocery flyer for discounts and if I really want to cook dinner or should I get takeout?
Then I think back, to Europe and realized, the same things happened to me. When I told my Dutch friend that it was neat that church bells rung on the hour – and she jokingly told me she always found that annoying but also had forgotten all about it if I hadn’t mentioned it.
Even if it isn’t ‘important’. It is these little details that both amuse me and motivate me to not only get out there and expose myself to nouvelle stimulus thus breaking the monotony of a routine existence- but to see things and try things from another approach. Lately, I’ve been seeing life as a rubix cube of sorts – if you keep twisting it one way and expect to solve it – it probably wouldn’t work. Life, like the rubix, is multidimensional and the good news is, you get to discover and learn the ways as you go along.