Need a Vacation? Your backyard awaits!!!
Well it’s finally happened. That exciting roller coaster of travel that I have been on has come to a brief pause and those “post travel blues” I was warned about are slowly to starting to creep in. The crystal blue waters of the Red Sea, the stunning red sands of the Sahara, the uneven cobblestone roads of Europe now seem but a distant memory as I face the all too familiar mountains of Utah. It’s funny how you always seem to want what you don’t have. When I was away, I longed for a place that I could call “home,” and now surrounded by the family and friends that make up my “home,” I am beginning to feel like a caged bird, my wings eager to fly again.
And then a familiar quote came to mind. “Life is not about the destination but about the journey.” The journey is something I am still on, regardless of what country I am in. My “journey” was not only the goal to reach thirty countries ( I am currently at 24) but to pursue my dream as a writer and to continue to inspire people to pursue their own passions, whatever that might be. A friend of mine posed an interesting question on Facebook which was, “I wonder if people in Monaco (my last temporary home) are as interested about Utah as people in Utah are about Monaco (or anywhere else for that matter?) Hmmm…I wonder?
I thought about the new friends that I have made all over the world and I realized that I still had adventures to share. As familiar and boring as Utah feels to me, it is still new and exciting to someone else. There are places to explore right here in my own backyard that in all my ten years of living here, I seemed to take for granted. It gave me the challenge to be a “tourist” right where I am. To be curious, more aware, to go down unexplored roads, and to look at things in a fresh new light.
High in the mountain tops of Eden, the untouched snowflakes sparkled in the morning sunlight like a million diamonds. I took a breath of crisp winter air as I looked down on the valley below, covered in a blanket of clouds that cascaded over the mountains. A tiny set of tracks led the way to a warm place where a furry family nestled together. I thought of the love that filled the condo where my own family was waiting, enjoying the short getaway with me. I have seen a lot of amazing vistas over the past 18 months, but this one was right up there with them. Instead of being thousands of miles away, I was 30 minutes from my home for the moment (which more and more I am realizing IS where the heart is.) An afternoon snowboarding in the fresh powder with my siblings and then a drive to Salt Lake to visit the world-famous Christmas lights at Temple Square rounded off my “staycation” in Utah.
When I really stopped to think about it, I was so grateful in that moment to have the best of both worlds. Hopefully that will appease this little travel bug of mine until I am back on the road again. For those of you who have never had the chance to get away, or maybe are starting to feel a bit of that “caged bird” feeling yourself, no matter what your financial situation or where you are in the world, adventure can be found right in your own backyard. All you have to do is go find it!