virgin islands scene

If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on.
-- Sheryl Sandberg


Saturday, March 9, 1996

A change of scenery

I love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s for “business” or “pleasure". I just like the act of going someplace different for a little while. It opens my mind in a way nothing else can.

Centuries ago, traveling was an exotic undertaking. Travelers were exposed to completely different cultures, and were totally cut off from their home. That is not the case today. With the incredible advances in communication, you can travel without ever losing contact with those at home. The places you go are rarely exotic, because there is now a worldwide, interconnected culture that will serve you a Big Mac with fries just about anywhere.

Still, travel is an incredibly mind-opening experience.

If you stay in the same place all the time, it’s easy to get in a rut. You drive the same route to work every day. You stop at the same convenience store for coffee. You read the same newspaper, see the same weather person on TV. You sleep in the same bed every night and know exactly how to get to the bathroom in the dark.

Traveling tends to shake things up. You have to look for that convenience store. The weather is a little different, and you’re exposed to new writers in the newspaper. When the “little” things you take for granted are no longer there, it subtly encourages you to examine all of your assumptions. That is a healthy exercise. A change of scenery can clear out the cobwebs in your mind and help you to see things in a different light.

And if you really want to, you can “travel” without ever leaving home. Try driving to work using a different route. Or try being a tourist in your own town -- there are probably lots of “tourist attractions” in your area that you’ve never been to. Going to them will help you see your city as a visitor would, and that in itself can give you a healthy change of perspective.

If you want to keep your mind open, never pass up the opportunity to travel, and always look for ways to avoid getting in a rut.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.