I've mentioned Matt Kepnes of the Nomadic Matt travel blog before, but his newsletter for this month had me thinking. Matt pointed out that we can keep the sense of adventure in our lives by traveling close by as well as internationally. That's good advice. How many of us jet off to foreign destinations, yet forget about the wonders in our own back yard?
Traveling nearby has its advantages, especially for seniors who may have health problems or financial issues that might mean we have to put off international travel for a while. My husband and I moved this year, and with all the expenses of moving and fixing up a new house, our travel has mostly consisted of exploring our new extended neighborhood. Granted, we live in a beautiful place--Washington's Olympic Peninsula, where there are parks and vistas around every corner--but every place has its own beauty and rewards, and it's up to us to discover them.
What's more, many of the same tools I use for travel abroad are useful at home too. I frequently use Rome2Rio.com to check the time and distance to various nearby locations. That site also provides info on public transport, including route numbers. And if I'm expecting more guests than we can handle in our two-bedroom house, Airbnb.com shows me local choices in a range of prices. That's important because the inns here are lovely, but they are often quite expensive.
Mostly, however, traveling in your own area can reveal discoveries that awaken a sense of wonder. Thanks to our summer jaunts, Kevin and I have uncovered forest walks and waterfalls, historic sites, and lonesome beaches where seals and otters play. These adventures are more than compensation for postponing other trips, they are treasured jewels in their own right. What's in your back yard?