It’s Day 7 of my personal blog challenge, and for some reason I’ve really been loving Tuesdays. Something about the Tuesday vibes put me in a great productive mood all day.
Earlier today I posted up at a coffee spot in Montclair that I had never been to. I was surprised to have not known about it since I thought I’ve scoped out most places of it’s kind in the area (do I even go here?). It made me think back to the revelation I had when I was studying abroad and exploring Europe for four months: we sometimes don’t give our home the right attention it deserves. When traveling in a new place, we become committed to making the most of our time there. We lose sleep in order to see every nook and cranny of the city (at least I do). We know our time is limited, so we do as much as we can in order to see and experience the most amazing things possible. It always amazes me how much I get done in just one day of travel. When exploring new cities in Europe, we would wake up at the crack of dawn and be on the move until our heads hit the pillow, no matter how exhausted, sick or cold we felt. I was stimulated with more experiences by noon during a travel day than by 10pm on any type of day at home. That’s why I love travel, it leaves me with an enhanced appreciation for living a full life and gracious perspective of how amazing it is to be alive. I become more aware of the opportunities available to us each day and feel motivated to take advantage of them.
After spending half a college semester living in Spain and gallivanting through Europe, I told myself I would become a “tourist” upon my return. I realized that I experienced more in foreign cities than I did in my own home of 20+ years. I assume the reason for this is that we are tranced in the illusion that we have enough time. We get caught up in our day to day, and assume “that will always be there”, “I’ll try that another time”, “I’ll do that another day”. We allow days, months or even years to pass us by without breaking old habits or doing that thing we always say we’re doing to do.
I live 10 miles from New York City and I’m certain tourists from Asia have seen more of it than I have. I become blind to the glamour of the most notorious city in the world, while other people wait their entire lives to experience it. It is interesting that this happens. Obviously, we aren’t going to live every single day at home like a tourist. That would be exhausting, and damn expensive to do. But I think it would benefit us to change the lenses which we see our home through. Enjoying the comfort of being in a familiar area is what “home” is all about. Having go-to places, familiar faces and routines is what separates your home from the foreign city you visit. But why not take a step back and view where you live as a tourist would? What would you want to do and see? How excited would you feel to be here? Maybe it’s something as small as trying a new restaurant or being friendlier to people around you. When we travel we seem to elevate ourselves to a more present state of mind. One that can get lost when we’re in the safety of our home routine.
The whole idea is to seize the moment. Getting stuck in the same state of mind sucks the fun and excitement out of life. The key is balance. Make the best of both worlds, and most importantly, let this way of being flow into other areas of life. Being a tourist at home is a metaphor for living life to the fullest. Remember to live in the present and live each moment like it’s your last. Appreciate the people you have in your life. Hug your mom, call your friend and be grateful for opportunities available to you daily. Take advantage of them now instead of tomorrow. Time is an illusion; the problem is we think we have enough.
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