Have you ever encountered another human‐being that in some way awakened you?
Recently, whilst working on a fallen tree in the front field of my ranch I encountered just such a being in the form of a petite, back pack laden, thick accented South Korean gal that casually happened by in search of respite on a country lane.
Such resolute hunger for exploration stirred my curiosity. Face lit with enthusiasm she stood speaking of temporarily boarding nearby to escape her harried day to day bustle as an interpreter/language specialist. Currently stationed in Berkley, my new acquaintance declaring she’d traipsed about copious continents, (just such a feat I had never dared to imagine.)
Standing there before her, mesmerized by those innumerable accounts of fearless globetrotting, I admit swallowing back a healthy pang of melancholy for uncharted adventures. Though in full disclosure and utmost honesty, packing the oxygen lacking Himalayans won’t ever blot my bucket list, still, her escapades tugged my heart strings.
Eyes aglow she elucidated that at some point she’d happened upon Ahwahnee during an excursion to Yosemite. Difficult to imagine this multi‐lingual world‐ roving woman had somehow landed in ‘don’t blink or you’ll miss it’ nomads land in search of refill.
Being that such hallmarks are absent from the pages of my own travel log, (not that I even possess a passport to begin with,) Kyung‐Soe got me to thinking. Was it that opportunity had eluded me? Or rather that I’d determinately circumvented prospects?
Certainly, if you faithfully partake of my column you unquestionably know I’m no stranger to marrying pen and paper for the purpose of touting the joys of exploration. More than once I’ve discovered ventures midst snow laden mountainsides, enchanting lakeside sunsets, as well the majestic ever desirable Yosemite Valley destination. Even Liz, the leading lady in ‘Sparks’, the second volume of my trilogy ‘Loves True Destiny’, sadly possesses a more adventuresome existence than I myself.
My accidental acquaintance substantiated the utter splendor of stepping outside one’s box eyes wide to the profound significance in meeting the endless roads of discovery head on.
Endeavoring to further explore the breathtaking nearby surrounding areas, Kyung‐Seo inquired of hiking trails I was privy to that she herself might reconnoiter during her sojourn. Shamefully I hung my head, reluctant to admit that in fact, I was familiar with a measly two. Nothing Google can’t help, right? Nothing like a little salt in that wound.
As a youngster I had esteemed imaginings of faraway provinces. Envisioning pirate infested isles, playacting with the neighborhood kids that we were fearless tribes of native Indians … knights of the round table.
The world’s ours for the taking, so why hadn’t I perused more frequently this glorious planet, acquiring those coveted passport stamps myself? Besides a summer on Kauii and a generous continental U.S. expedition with my aunt and cousins the year of our bicentennial midst a tired flag encrusted V.W. van, I’d yet to set sail to some far away land. Was it more trepidation of those dreaded travel inoculations, or possibly that deep down I secretly wasn’t the adventuresome type?
Being an avid diehard cover‐to‐cover bibliophile of my yearly subscriptions of AFAR and National Geographic Traveler should be proof positive that somewhere in the depths of my psyche resides a world traveler just waiting to be loosed. If so frequently I’d imagined feasting upon exotic treasures amidst balmy regions, daydreamed of languishing languid days away on silky stretches of satiny azure painted shores, and exploring mysterious castles set along misty emerald coastlines, why then do I find myself such a consummate homebody?
Reality speaks volumes I suppose when my latest exotic exploits include nothing more than the pineapple glazed Hawaiian caught Mahi‐mahi I baked for lunch yesterday, or more so the double‐down viewing of Eat Pray Love that I partook of just last week. If only I had Elizabeth Gilbert’s spirit, oh the ventures I would ascertain.
The somber reality lends truth to the actuality that so many of us are merely making our way through this life, forgetting somewhere between adolescence and adulthood that we are merely visitors on this big blue orb. Forgetting that our time here is limited to the designated beats of our hearts, we disregard the call to roam foreign lands, and even the extraordinary land we reside midst.
Maybe it’s time to invest in a new pair of hiking boots and finally procure that passport. Who knows where we might find ourselves.