I’ve always been a traveler. When I was young my parents would take my sister and I on long family vacations almost every summer. These trips weren’t to Disneyland or the likes, but instead we hopped in the car and drove the Gulf Coast states from Houston to Florida. Or, perhaps, we’d head to Tennessee and drive through the Smokey Mountains and pass into the Carolinas, then on to Georgia. We explored the Deep South and journeyed to a lot of music cities, such as Memphis, to jolt and expand our little minds as we walked
through places like Sun Studios and even Graceland. On these trips we’d often stop at anything along the road that may have spiked our interests. Once, on an country road in Franklin, Tennessee, we saw an old, somewhat dilapidated mansion and this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass. My parents decided “why not” and we drove down the dirt path to the house and were granted a tour of what turned out to be one of the oldest plantations in the area. This was a typical style for Clevenger family vacations – to not have a strict deadline and enjoy the moments when they presented themselves. I carried this into my adult travel style and, as you may be aware of now, it has afforded me some truly amazing experiences. While my parents weren’t able to take us out of the country on extravagant holidays, what they did do was take us to places to ignite our imagination and introduce us to different cultures and people.
I think traveling, even if it’still local, is important. If you’re stuck in one place for too long, you tend to lose your imagination and child-like awe of this great big world. I mean, people and culture can change town to town so you don’t always have to go a long distance to find something brand new. In fact, in Houston alone there are 92 different countries represented and several pockets of the city that have their very own flavor. Sometimes just getting out and driving down the road can lead one to a totally fresh perspective by walking around , perusing the shops and engaging with the locals. You know, crawling outside your daily comfort zone and trying something else for a weekend, a day, or an hour. Just go…somewhere.
I’ve been daydreaming a lot lately. I’ve got the travel itch and while I don’t have the vacation time for a weeklong adventure in an exotic location, I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a short retreat from my habits. For me, it is important to go somewhere else for
a while. I get bogged down and almost mechanical in my day-to-day life, that picking up and taking a moment to look at a new location, if even for a day, can reset me quite nicely. So, I’m looking at the map for the next few weeks hoping it will jump off of the page. “Pick me, pick me!” And since autumn has arrived, maybe I will find a cabin near a lake or a day trip to a township with a unique heartbeat. Living in Texas I’m bound to find some place to discover as this is the largest state in the Union and all major cities have their own, unique brand. The smaller outlying towns are sure to have something special waiting for me. It’s just that time.
I can’t always whisk myself away and across the ocean on Holiday, but for now I can seek another type of adventure; one that will inspire and excite me as the season changes. And I share all of this with you because I hear it all the time, “I wish I could..” or “maybe one day…” and of course, “I don’t know where to begin..” And I know picking a place to travel to can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it is an international vacation. However, sometimes you just need to get in the car and drive of into the sunset. To feel the wind in your air and let those chains loosen a bit. So, do it. Go..go now! After all, perche no vacanza, right?
“No matter where I land, I’ll still need to roam.”