Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Traveling far from home.

Here are some thoughts that I had while visiting the ancient Minoan site of Malia on Crete, during my recent trip to Greece...

It's hard to imagine living a lifetime without traveling more than a few miles from your birthplace. I can't even imagine never leaving a single state, like many of my former students who had never left California. I guess I'm a reflection of my family's habits and the current state of my culture.

Growing up, our parents traveled. A lot. We moved 4 times before I was 9 years old. I've visited 45 of the 50 U.S. states, and much of that happened while on family trips. I've been to Canada several times, Mexico four times and Europe six times. Family members have been part of many of those trips.

And it's just so easy -- though, perhaps not always cheap -- to get on a plane and be on the other side of world. Sure, it might take 2 or 3 or 4 flights to get there, and it might require nearly 24 hours of travel. But you can't travel on a train for 24 hours and end up in Europe or the Middle East. You can't hop on a steamship and do it, either. Today's culture truly has made the world "smaller" and easier to experience.

The irony for me is that I don't get the same "feeling" when I travel, that I once did. Yes, I just returned from two weeks in Greece. It was awesome. Had great time. Good memories with my mom and brother and friends. No regrets. And yet, it doesn't hold the same level of "magic" that travel once did. Maybe I've traveled to Europe too many times. Perhaps I should go to Africa or Asia or South America. I love traveling, and I never want it to become routine or boring. It's a long way of reaching that stage, and I never want it to get there.