Have you ever noticed when you are on vacation or staying for a limited period of time in someplace new, how you gobble up all the place has to offer? You go to the museums, a new cafe everyday, wander down hidden trails, and basically turn over every rock you can get your mugs on. And, perhaps in your enthusiasm, you might befriend a local. And in your first conversations you discover that they have never seen that famous gallery or bothered to stop at the historical society.
Or maybe you've been that local and found yourself caught up in the eagerness of a visitor passing though. A friend or relative that has a list of places they must see. And for a few days you catch that exploration fever and your commute and grocery shopping and weeds to pull in the garden are forgotten.
My husband, for instance, lived in Rome his whole life and never visited the Vatican Museums or the catacombs until I dragged him there. And it's not that he wasn't interested. It's just that when you live in a place, you don't feel that urgency. You figure you'll see them eventually, but never get around to it. And thirty years slips by.
Why is this? It's a question of time and how we experience it. When it's been sectioned off and rationed out, we feel it slipping away. It always passes at exactly the same speed, but we generally don't notice unless we're told that we only have so much of it.
When I moved to California the first time, it was for a three month internship. I had three months and I went somewhere new every weekend. I saw as much of that state in those three months as I did in the five years that I lived there later in my life.
So, having observed this, I try to trick myself into being the tourist every now and then. I tell myself, "this is the only April 15th 2010 you'll ever have!!! Is there anything you'd like to do today?" or "If I were going to leave this beautiful place in, say 6 weeks, what would I want most to do?" It gives me just enough kick to get out of my lazy comfort zone and get out on the weekend or finally invite those friends over for dinner.
Insert your favorite soap opera title,