I want to take a moment to plug weekend getaways: I know it's a hassle sometimes to leave for the few precious days a week when your time truly becomes your own, and I know it costs money and energy (all those strangers you meet on the road). But I think it's one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, to leave the familiarity of our home territory. There's a kind of exhilaration that one really only finds in the discomfort of the unknown, or at least the slightly new, almost as if you're trying on a new version of yourself. You aren't home you anymore, you're whoever you are in that new environment. How exciting! And even returning to places we haven't been in a long time is a way to see who we've become in the interim, a sort of geographical measuring stick. It's good, it's healthy. Two thumbs up for getting out of town.
This is all a long way of saying I went on a weekend trip with my older sister, and not only was I rich in time with one of my favorite people, I was rich in new experiences too. We've both been to Bend before--we have family there, and even though my dad is no fan of the city, I like it--but we made a point to stay somewhere new and go places we hadn't been to before. We delighted in the secret rooms and bars of our hotel and ate at restaurants we'd never heard of. We listened to street musicians and walked along the river, we laid out in the sun at a high mountain lake and paddle boarded in the shadow of Bachelor's peak. We hiked in the hottest part of the day at a place I used to know well. And through it all I kept thinking--who am I today, away from all the places I usually go? Some things were the same, but some weren't. And through it all I found myself paying attention in a way I don't when I'm walking my usual routes. I was seeing with fresh eyes. The kind of thing you don't get when you're mired in routine, the kind of magic that comes with a new view.
Here's to weekends away, friends, and making time to find new ways of seeing.