For me, the theme of this year has been exploration. I’ve been charging forth with little thought to the question, “Wait, do I actually want to do this?” and exploring all sorts of new frontiers. Travel has been more of a constant in 2017 than just about anything else. The little stone foothills farmhouse that I call home has started to feel like just another Airbnb when we do land at home for a few weeks in between stretches. It feels like I’m off to the airport every two weeks, and my persistent fear of flying is something I’m facing a bit easier each time.
Here I am in between another trip turnaround, and I’ve been mulling over the feelings around traveling to a place unknown, as opposed to one that’s known to you. There’s that mystery that you hold for a place before you meet it for the first time, and the comfort of familiarity that pops into my head every time I think about the walk to my favorite noodle shop in Reykjavik, the sunsets on Gillespie’s Beach on the south island of New Zealand, or the howling wolves that I could hear from my deck in the middle of the long, crisp Teton winters.
There’s something about each of those memories that carries such a strong taste and smell of home for me, all because I worked up the guts to step way outside my comfort zone and take a summer job in Grand Teton National Park at 21. That first step that led me to a discovery and a love for exploration and travel had a domino effect. You take that first step, and the ripples of what you can do, and what you think of doing, expand around and out the more you go, see, taste, laugh and live to tell about it.
So next time you’re traveling somewhere new and unknown, know that while it may be scary and completely foreign, you might just be stepping into a world that will one day feel like home.
Discover what you don’t know you don’t know.