Traveling in Place

We dream of traveling to far off countries filled with things exotic and unusual. We long for experiences unlike that which we have encountered before. Even something as simple as market day in an unknown land is rich with newness and unique sensations. When we are prevented satiating this hunger for the unknown, we can often feel confined and lonely—as if somehow the trappings of our everyday existence stifle us and make us feel less like ourselves. If our true self only emerges when we are exploring, how are we ever to feel at home?

This is when we must turn the act of exploring to something more local. Familiar though this territory may be, we can put ourselves in the boots of those traveling here - see what they are seeing for the first time. While it may not be so fresh to us as we are now, trapped in our mundane masterpiece of monotony, it can be wholly new to us—the renewed adventurer.

For me personally, the Point Reyes shoreline is well-known and beloved. But on a typically foggy day, with wines in tow from both local Sonoma County and distant New Zealand (a memory of previous adventures), Hog Island Oyster Company is fresh and new when taken in as a distinctive experience. Never again will we have these particular succulent divinities known as oysters paired with these particular cheeses that near mystic experiences. Never again will these wines from these vintages be open together with this simple yet delectable feast.

And we are, right now, wholly joined in laughter and contradictory ponderings. We can share this inimitable moment and yet still be lost in our own dreams and longings.

When the worlds of responsibility, economics, obligations, and frustration collide to keep us tethered against our will, we must survive by exploring that which might be less unusual to our personal identities—yet can also be exceptional in its imaginative freshness. And we can do it together or alone, as we somehow always are, no matter the company we keep or where we are in the world.