“Everyone wants to visit at least one place,” my son recently wrote in an essay for school. “I want to go to Hawaii.”
Two thoughts immediately ran through my mind when I read this: 1) That’s a fairly perceptive observation for an eight year-old; and 2) Hawaii? Really? Not what I would have expected (from an eight year-old). Disneyland, the beach, Chuck E. Cheese’s. If someone were to ask an eight year-old where he or she wanted to visit I would think these would be more likely answers. What does he know about Hawaii, anyway?
Everyone wants to visit at least one place. I suppose they might–even if it’s only one town over. I do actually have a relative, though, who lives in a tiny little town in Illinois and is perfectly happy to go nowhere. She’s been there her entire life. I think her blood pressure shoots up ten points when she crosses the line into the next town. But, I digress . . .
I don’t know about everyone, but I know I want to visit other places. I, unintentionally, have ended up in the same town for most of my life (unless you count my time at college in the next town over; stop laughing). I don’t have a good explanation for it, really. I often tell people that my town is like the mafia: I keep trying to get out but it keeps pulling me back in (aahhhhh, the wisdom of Michael Corleone). Anyway, it just sort of happened. And it’s odd, but both times we deliberately tried to move to another city, fate seemed to take a hand and just swat us right back to, well, here.
And here we still are all this time later. I have at least been fortunate enough to visit some other places, too. It makes me want to visit more places. I have often heard from people after returning from trips where they say, grimacing, “Oh, I was just so glad to get back home.” You know, I can’t say I’ve ever said that after one of my trips. I mean, what the hell is that? Sometimes I just don’t get it. For me it’s, “Hey! Where are we going to next?”
Where am I going next? I wonder. I’m planning. Maybe Hawaii–apparently I’d have at least one other vote for that trip. I just know I’m going to visit somewhere else and enjoy being reminded of how much there is beyond here. And if for no other reason, that’s why everyone should want to visit at least one place.