Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb 10 Day Four - Wonder

I'm participating in Reverb 10, a fantastic month-long initiative for reflection. Here I will be responding to one prompt every day.

December 4 - Wonder
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
I've moved quite a bit since I was 18 - a bit of a nomad you might say. Once I moved to Georgia, however, I realized that while I enjoyed moving to new places, I had previously allowed myself to settle into the "local" role much too quickly. I felt that in order to belong to a place I needed to forgo the touristy spots and the local attractions. Looking back, I realize that I didn't truly experience a lot of the places I lived in. I vowed that Georgia would be different.

My first summer in Atlanta was my "Yankee in the South" summer. Yes, I actually told people that, and looking back I guess that's sort of embarrassing. What wasn't embarrassing was taking a ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore, camping on Jekyll Island, driving through the Okefenokee Swamp. Since I couldn't find anyone to go with me, I went by myself. I bought guide books and hiking books of the area, and went on a solo 14-mile hike in the North Georgia Mountains. Even after I made a solid group of friends and got into a grad school student's routine, I still silently asked myself: "what would a tourist do?" I tried to take in all that the town could offer, and I tried to take everything in through a tourist's eye.

I try to think and act like a local when I travel, but thinking like a tourist in my own hometown has allowed me to be in constant wonder of my world.

**I'm in San Francisco until Wednesday, so this week I'll be a real tourist, not a 'local' one. So happy to be here, so happy to see my sister, and so happy that my work affords me the opportunity to travel to new places.

What about you? What do you do to cultivate a sense of wonder in your life?

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