I have this thing (which I believe that most travelers share) of not being able to visit a new place without imagining, even for a moment, what it would be like to live there. To imagine your everyday routines in a different location, the mundane becoming new and the reevaluation of life through the lens of exploration. Where would you drink your coffee at, would that corner store stock your particular brand of cereal? Would you and the grocer share idle small talk about the weather?
It doesn’t have to be a particularly noteworthy location to inspire these thoughts, somewhere shiny, glamorous and filled to bursting with things to explore and discover, a metropolis lit ablaze. Nor does it have to be remote and quiet, the remote and rustic cabin in the mountains, where you could imagine dusting away the twilight years surrounded by books and nature. It could be either or both, the same or a fair stance in between.
Anywhere i’ve ever traveling to, from gridlocked Boston to weird New Jersey, the blasting wind fields of Kansas to the rugged twisting coastline of California, boisterous Boulder and cool-kid-aestetic Santa Fe, to all the little place far and in-between, population 300 to population no idea there are millions here, I’ve placed myself deep in the soil and planted roots, just for a moment.
Sure, I have favorites. Who can visit Sausalito without falling in love a little.Who doesn’t wish to spend months on end in Manhattans endless museums? But theres the outliers, the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee a whirlwind neon madness let loose at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. Maybe you only spend half an hour there, a flash frozen memory in between giants that take up the real space in your head and heart, like the morning I spent in Grants Pass that I always seem to forget about except when prompted…
It doesn’t much matter the place I guess. It’s more about the mindset you have when you’re traveling, even if it’s just half a half hour from home. Arriving somewhere new, with an open,kind mind and letting yourself slip into the illusion of belonging to this place. It could be the longing to belong in what might perhaps be the perfect place to call home, or it might just be a passing whimsy, but either way it’s a lovely moment to pause and consider a different future, or to more fully appreciate where you already call home.
P.S these photographs where taken in Augusta, Maine. I talked more about the time I spent there in this post.