Monday, November 15, 2010

HOME OR ABROAD

Do you ever yearn for a particular place on earth you would just love to visit? Maybe it is a vast area or perhaps just a small nook with nostalgic ties, one that holds wonderful memories.

There are a countries I would love to visit like England or Ireland, the countries of my roots. To look in the faces of the people and to see if I recognize myself in them. To walk over the same land my ancestors did, to feel the same ground under my feet, the same mist, cold or warmth of sun on my face as they did would make me feel connected. At least I think it would.

We Americans are the infants on this planet. Most of us are mongrels in this country with multiple lineages. I have two, some have many and then there are the first generation, pure bred immigrants. However, the only true Americans are the Native Indians. The rest of us are relative newcomers. We are the adopted children.

While I would love to visit the countries of my origin, I also fantasize about visiting the exotic and vastly different areas like China or Africa.



When ever I see pictures of China's topography, I get the feeling that part of the world has been here so much longer than the rest of the world. It somehow looks more worn. Their culture is measured in thousands of years, not hundreds.

Africa holds a fascination for me for its wonderfully diverse wildlife and the miles of unsettled land. That to me would almost be like stepping back to the very beginning of time, much like China.

I have held a lot of these yearnings but a job, my pets, or lack of unlimited funds have kept me pretty close to home. Then I met Gary on the Internet and realized, I have really been ignoring my very own forest with my telescopic vision.

Gary France is a recently retired gentleman from the UK who decided to tour the US on a Harley. I stumbled on his blog late but the beauty of blogging is that all I missed, is just waiting for me to click on his archives and read. I have missed the immediacy but not the trip.

Gary has a wonderful, fresh eye and is the type of photographer and observer I would love to be. He has mastered the u-turn. Most often when we travel, we see things of interest but since we usually have a destination and a time frame, we often pass them by. Gary doesn't have that problem. He just stops, goes back, pulls out the camera, takes pictures and talks to the locals.

As a result, he has seen my country in a way I never have in all my 71 years and made me realize, maybe I ought to adjust the scope of my wish list. Wow, do we have an amazing country!! We know the language and the currency which is quite convenient, but that is all that is the same. We are such a diverse country. The landscapes are as different as countries in Europe.

I have lived in three vastly different locations. Ohio with its farming and mid-west values, Florida with its constant sun, sea and a melting pot of residents who come from all over to enjoy the warmth. A native Floridian is a tough find. Then I came to the Ozarks with the lovely vistas and warm people.

What Gary's blog has shown me is that I might want to keep exploring, I haven't begun to see what wonders are available to be seen within our own borders with just a little time and an open mind. I am really getting the urge for a road trip.

If you want to get a look at our country from the view of fresh eyes and a good camera, I suggest you visit
USA Tour on a Harley Davidson. You will be entering the last days of his trip but I plan to hit his “Favorites so far” feature on his side bar at my leisure. I really want to thank Gary for opening my eyes to an amazing country that is totally within reach but is every bit as exotic as foreign countries. I have traveled a lot in my life but am not sure I have ever really seen.

Not too late---what say Mighty dog, you up for a road trip? Oh that is right, the cats. I have problems to work out but hope I don't let time run out before I do. The West is looking good and has never been explored by me.

Do you have places you want to see or are you perfectly content with your neighborhood?

31 comments :

  1. I have no desire to travel to another country. I do wish I could travel more in the good old USA. There are so many, many places I haven't been. When I was very young I promised myself to visit every state at lease once. Over half way there.

    I spend most of my online time on Twitter. I am amazed how many people I've met there who have sold the houses and now live in an RV and do nothing but travel.

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  2. Next May we are going to The Holy Land - a long held dream. I'd love to see Scotland and Ireland and England and France and ... too many to count. I probably won't because like your blog friend there are places here in America I want to visit or revisit. I love Maine and would like to spend a month there - mid September to mid October. We'll go back to the Rockies next September though because I love it there when the Aspens turn. I want to drive through Wyoming and Montana, I've never been there. I'd like to see the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico again, I was a child the last time. I loved the Amish country in Pennsylvania and southwest Missouri is some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. Kentucky and Tennessee and North Carolina..they need weeks of exploring. So many places, so little money and time. blessings, marlene

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  3. Hey girl, if you want to see thousands of years of habitation, come see us in New Mexico. The pueblos were here since before the iron age folks were mucking about in Europe. And the Native Americans still live in them...and the art work is fabulous and the scenery is breathtaking and you have a friend here to give you the real skinny. Just saying.....I love NM and I have lived here all my life. Can't get bored with what we have here. I'm not so much a cheche Santa Fe girl but I do know the backroads and high country. And the best eateries.The Olde Bagg, Linda
    And I am definately gonna check out your Harley friends blog....

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  4. Oh Boy, this post could have been written by me. I long to travel all the time. I really want to go to New Zealand especially when I see Peter't photographs. I have traveled a lot in the United States and Mexico, but long to do more. Every day I see interesting things even in my own neighborhood. When I was a child my dad was in the armed services and we traveled quite a bit then, so I guess wander lust is in my bones. I have visited almost every state. Still need to see Alaska and some of the New England states, perhaps those will be next.

    I'll check out Gary's blog, I better not let my Gary see the harley though. Ha. Great post, Patti. Gary wants to go back to Arkansas for a visit, if (when) we do, I'll let you know. We went to the Petit Jean car show when we lived there and would like to go back again, it was a good one. The Mount Magazine butterfly festival was in a beautiful place too.

    I can't remember how many folks are fulltime RVers in this country, but there are a lot of them, many in this state for the winter.

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  5. England, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica, Belize (again), most of the Caribbean Islands. Yeah, I would do that.

    But, I have so much to see here in the US. Of course there are some places that are not safe to travel if your car is sporting a Massachusetts tag, but....

    I have a road trip in mind for here in the northeast. I just want to load up the 4Runner and head north and camp my way through Maine, Vermont (I am skipping New Hampshire - don't much care for it) and New York. Simple and close to home.

    Good one, Patti. I'll check that blog.

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  6. I have been most fortunate to be able to travel through a great deal of the U.S. We have tons of pictures and great memories and there isn't a place I have been to that I wouldn't go again in a heart beat. Actually, there aren't too many places that I haven't been that I wouldn't pack my bags for given the opportunity.

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  7. Oh My Heart.... IF I were single, I'd go with you, Patti... I want to visit the west also... YES--there are so many gorgeous areas of our own country which I have not seen... BEFORE going to other countries, I need to do a better job of seeing more of my own...

    Great post.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  8. While there are many places of interest in the U.S. that I have not visited, they have become "back-burner" desires. Perhaps the relative proximity makes them not so urgent. I yearn to travel to places on the other side of the world: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Egypt and other parts of the African continent. Unless I win the lottery, which is not likely since I never buy tickets, I shall have to be content to see what I can see closer to home.

    Nice post. I look forward to seeing the US from a Harley.

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  9. I love when I discover a "new" to me blog that illuminates things about our Beautiful country that I have not been familiar with---and that covers so very many places. I will be going over to visit Gary's Blog, shortly---and thanks so much for the Heads-Up, My Dear.
    Because I cannot travel anymore I kind of stopped thinking about places I would like to go...But, I certainly look forward to reading what Gary has to say about this country through his eyes.

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  10. Love, love, love road trips! I'm always amazed at the places, near my home, that I haven't seen...or take for granted. I needed this reminder. Travel is an attitude, not a place...I'm sure of this. Great post/great reminder.

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  11. I don't wish to travel, but I love blogging with many wonderful people all across our world and corresponding with others through Mail Art. It has certainly made my own world larger...Pocahontas is in my family tree, so I'm a wee bit native, plus English. Granddaughter Amanda spent 7 weeks this past summer volunteering in Northern Ireland and journaled about it on her blog. It is a beautiful country, Patti!

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  12. I'm hard pressed to find an ancestor who arrived 'after' 1636.
    Never had any great desire to see other countries, but ended up on an extended tour of the Islands of Japan, and then toured, with a singing group, Great Britain, from Aberdeen in the north to Portsmouth in the south.
    Having relatives spread out across the states, I have visited, passed though, or over most of these United States.
    Train travel, especially through Canada is highly recommended.
    Rich in experiences and grateful to have been so fortunate, I now delight in traveling the internet.
    Thank you for sharing your latest find.
    Helen

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  13. Since I have lived in Morocco, been to Spain and Gibralter, I know the thrill of another country. But I longed for Israel until a friend recently returned. He seemed disappointed that the Israel of our individual religious teaching, plus his comparisons were to things like our lakes and rivers. He said the Sea of Galilee was a little larger than a pond and the Jordon river you could wade across.

    However I long to see the Grand Canyon. But I can tell you in the good years of Autumn AR Hwy 7 can compare to Vermont Autumns. I seen both.

    So I am hoping to see the Grand Canyon and hope my health will improve so I can travel somehow to see it.

    So Bon Voyage. I can highly recommend everywhere I've been, including Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, N& S Carolinas, Maryland. And remember the U-turn. Some of my best photos, too have been when I took the time to turn around.

    And if you have a laptop you can occasionally stop and post a great story which I know you will encounter.

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  14. Miss Dazey,
    Wow, I am impressed that you have seen half of the states. I almost did the RV bit but needed a home base and couldn't afford both.

    Stichinbythelake,
    You might want to check Nitwits comment on the Holy Land.
    You all ready have seen so many neat places. I do share your love of Maine. Just too many places is right.

    Linda in NM,
    You do have a rich history in NM don't you. Those pueblo homes in the sides of cliffs fascinate me. Someday-- I hope, and I will check with the high roads and the eatery expert. Thanks so much.

    Linda Starr,
    Know what you mean about New Zealand. I was soooo sorry Peter didn't make it.
    You ever come to Magazine Mt. I will definitely meet you and Gary there. I haven't been yet .

    Barry,
    Can't argue with any of your choices. Am curious however, where is a Mass plate unwelcome?

    Olga,
    So glad you did tour our lovely country. Lucky and smart you. I've covered the east coast, now I want to go west.

    Betsy,
    You and George do a marvelous job of visiting your neck of the woods. I love that you travel so. That is what I am thinking, day or week end trips and if I can figure what to do with the cats, longer.

    Pat Arkansas,
    If you win the lottery, I am your new best friend. Know what you mean however. Many things are out of my budget, but the US is doable.

    OOLOH,
    Ah, but you have been abroad and seen so many wonderful things. I would guess with you hitting both coasts for the theater, a lot of the US you have flown over. That is why I like Gary's blog. He is on the ground.

    turquoisemoon,
    Aren't road trips the best? The excitement of going somewhere new really gets the blood flowing.

    Wanda,
    Ah, a true native and a Pocahontas kin yet. I am impressed. Kind of makes you royalty. If I lived where you do, I would probalby be content also. You live in a beautiful part of the world and you very much "see" it.

    Anonymous,
    Why Helen, did not know you were a preformer. Such great places you have been. What wonderful memories you must have.
    Yes, the train trip across Canada is in the Bucket List all ready.

    Nitwit,
    Thanks to your hubby, you did get to see a lot of the world. You got to stay a while and learn the culture which most travelers don't have time for.
    I'm not on the road yet, have things to get organized and will probably wait for warmer weather but it has really moved up in the bucket list to see more of the US and to do those "u-turns."

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  15. Patti - It was sort of tongue-in-cheek, but I would say anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon. I have had a couple not so pleasant experiences (with drivers of big pick up trucks) in my home state of PA and that's north of the line. Once I had to get off the road, and quick, for fear of being run off. Coincidence? Maybe.

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  16. I was able to take my dream trip to Scotland and Ireland a few years ago, and I did feel right at home. My grandparents, on my mother's side, came from Ireland and England. I had hoped to see northern Ireland, one day, but it doesn't seem possible at this point. I would also love to see more of the USA, especially the eastern states.

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  17. I would love to travel, but as my Grandma used to say, "If wished were feathers then horses would fly". My son-in-laws parents traveled to China last year and Israel this year. It's nice if you can afford it.

    An Arkies Musings

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  18. I traveled around the our country quite a bit in early 70s, must have crossed it by car ten times. I fell in love with Colorado and New Mexico. I drove across Canada once, and was absolutely blown away by the prairies and the Rockies there. I don't like to travel much anymore. I'm content to be at home, hiking around and discovering the world of life all around me.

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  19. I'm one of those who came to NA in the 50's and love the road trips along both coasts and in between. I've had the fortune of travelling to exotic places and live with local people experiencing a simple but truly loving life style. Dare to dream and it shall happen.

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  20. There is NO place on this planet that I wouldn't care to see. I know I will never get to travel (in this lifetime) the way I want to - so I rely on TV and blogs to get me there. I'll check him out after DWTS!!

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  21. Come west young lady, all the way to the Pacific. You'll be amazed!

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  22. I have always wanted to visit England, Ireland, and Scotland. Almost all my ancestors came from that area many, many years ago.
    I would like to see more of the US, but like you, I am tied down by my cats. They are so totally spoiled, it would be hard to find someone who would have the patience to cater to their whims while I was gone.

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  23. Oh, this is just really a great subject for me! I want to go to China, Kazakhstan, Ireland, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Australia...

    I want to see California's coast from a convertible with my hair blowing in the breeze, Alaska's peaks and shores, and the miles and miles of open space in Montana. I'd also like to visit the little stained-glass shop on Market Street in my town...I might walk the 1/2 mile down there on Saturday morning.

    I'm also going to visit your blog suggestion!

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  24. I want to see it all ~ this is a big world we live in!! Thanks to the internet my yearning to travel to far off lands is at least made through the eyes of others who are kind enough to share their adventures.

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  25. Hit the road Patti. Gus & I would love to have you spend time with us, and see the West.
    I have a long list of places I want to see in this fantastic country of ours. Some for the first time and others again. I always try to take the long way or the road less traveled.

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  26. Barry,
    Gosh, I hate to hear that. I guess there are still screw loose types around. Hate to say it but in parts of Arkansas, you might run into that. You need a clip on Ga plate.

    Betty,
    Thanks for that. I also have the feeling that in Ireland or England, I would feel the familiar and maybe a missing piece would slip into place.

    richies,
    That"wishes" thing is one of the things that has stopped me before. Think I will just have to find a way. My years to do this are slipping away.

    robin,
    You are lucky to have done all that when you were young and full of energy. Now, because you don't have any "what ifs", you can just enjoy that lovely place you have found. Your wanderlust can enjoy its roots.

    KleinsteMotte,
    You have done it right and enjoyed it all. What marvelous memories you must have.I am so glad you took advantage. I shall "dare".

    kenju,
    Hasn't the Internet been a blessing? It lets us not only see the world, but also to learn about so many diverse peoples via a keyboard click.

    lakeviewer,
    When I left Florida, the pacific northwest was on my want to live list but it was just too far from my family. Arkansas was rather central.
    The PNW is such a beautiful part of the world, hope I get that far.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Know how you feel. I love my creatures but they really keep you tied to your home. Mighty would love to go, the cats, not a chance.

    Deb,
    Ah, that is exactly what I mean.The open road is so totally freeing and a senses delight. I get excited just taking a day trip. Wonder if the coast line in Cal will be the same in a Tacoma?

    mel,
    The internet lets us travel from our desk chairs with ease, comfort and cheaply. It also however, stirs up my restless juices. I want to see the wonders people describe as their back yards. I have till spring to make this doable.

    Brighid,
    Now that is the way to travel. Most hit the freeways for speed and time saved. Time saved for what? The bank of life doesn't pay interest on time saved, only on time well spent. Oh gosh--think I just typed my new motto.

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  27. I prefer to stay in my own back yard. I'm not much of a traveler, and there are still a lot of places right here in Ohio I haven't seen.

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  28. China culture has also been of interest to me. When I was young (20's) I wanted to visit the Hunzacuts in the Himalayas. At that time, they were just recently discovered, following WWll. I yearned to go there but now it has become a tourist polluted trap. The purity is gone and I no longer want to visit. Other than than, I think I'll stay at home and watch vids on YT. LOL
    Good and interesting post.

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  29. Patty,
    Signs of a contented woman.That you and Wanda, both from Ohio, says a lot about the lovely state of my birth.

    Manzanita,
    Ok, the Hunzacuts were new to me so I had to google them. You are right, things are only pure till the travel agents find their location. Sorry bout that.
    Enjoy YTs.

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  30. Ummm, interestingly enough I am not a world traveler, although my husband delights in visiting other countreis coming from a career military family. However, what I do enjoy is finding places 'off the beaten path'and discovering that 'hidden gem' in both destinations and individuals...ahhh, now that's heavenly!
    I loved reading your blog..I will be back!

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  31. Tracy,
    Thanks for stopping by and for following. I enjoyed your post and look forward to getting to know you.
    Totally agree, "off the beaten path," is the best path.

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