I’ve spent lots of time staring out from windows. As a child, my family took frequent road trips up and down the eastern seaboard. Lake George, The Poconos, New York City, Savannah, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, The Florida Keys, landscapes whizzed by at 75 miles per hour as the family van’s odometer ticked higher and higher. These early experiences shaped me in ways I am only now understanding. For me, turnpike service stations and interstate rest stops kindle childhood memories of carefully wrapped sandwiches, pear juice and pinecone collecting. The road has always been a member of my family, and it still nurtures me today with insight and perspective when I need it most. These days, however, the windows I stare out from have a 10,000 foot view. I’ve traded highways for airways that take me to places like Dallas, Texas, where I snapped today’s photo at Eisenhower State Park.
My skin was roasting here. Fifteen years of living in South Florida and I’ve never experienced such warmth. It’s like scalding air was crushing me with every step. Cowboy hats off to those Texans who manage in such abysmal weather. I’ll take hurricanes over heat any day! Still, the moment made me consider how accustomed we are to our environments. A Texan doesn’t worry about heat any more than I do about humidity. Experiencing a new locale not only introduces us to something new, it shifts our perspectives of what we know. After each trip, I see my home with new eyes ripe for exploration. It’s like a three-part bonus. Traveling gives you the experience of the trip, the mystery of the destination and rekindles the wonder of your hometown.
Like those childhood memories framed by car windows, these new experiences define an important period of my life. Age doesn’t determine maturity and growing old doesn’t mean you stop learning. Traveling from the familiar to the unkown reminds me there are many miles of road to look forward to. My adventure is just beginning!