Roam, If You Want To

I’ve always loved the song by the B-52s that encourages us to “Roam, if you want to.  Roam around the world.”

I’m a firm believer that travel teaches us things that watching a documentary can’t.  I love that we can learn a great deal in advance from the travel channel and from travel writers, especially if our budgets don’t allow us to go to the places our imaginations long to. But there is truly nothing like getting yourself to that place and smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, feeling the heat, humidity, or ocean breeze, tasting the local flavors, and intuitively sensing what it’s like to live in that particular part of the world.

San Jose was a hot mix of the highly diverse geek culture that drives Silicon Valley along side the  homeless who make their beds on a park bench or museum step and use the dancing water display to cool off or clean up like the many children who flock there in lieu of a public swimming pool.

Since my internal clock was still on central time, I became an early bird and used this time to slip on my sneakers and walk around the city as it slowly awakened.  This became my favorite time of the day because the streets were empty, the temperatures were still cool,  I could take random photos, and smile and say “Good Morning!” to total strangers, and find a produce market where I picked out some of the sweetest and tastiest fruit I’ve ever had.

Every day has this grace period when it reveals its true nature before getting lost in the hustle and bustle of business. I supposed the same is true for us if we take a few moments to meditate before we medicate with caffeine, daily news, or drama.  Had I slept through it or even blogged through it, I would have missed the magic.

So today, even though I have so many words in my head to share that have no choice but to let a few tumble out, I’m saving the rest for later in the week so that I can go out and experience the Monterey Peninsula this morning.

Yesterday I moved us from the Taj Mahal of hotels in San Jose to what Bob thought might be Couples Camp at Asilomar in Pacific Grove.  He’s kind of right since this place was a YMCA camp for much of its history.  While I have no problem and actually prefer no television and sparse surroundings (less distractions for a writer), I can see where the equivalent of a dorm room might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

However, we do have an ocean view and an intricate system of trails that will guarantee our FitBits vibrate with the thrill of 10,000 steps.  This is a gorgeous place for families and groups to gather for connections of all kinds.

This afternoon we hope to connect with some whales on our whales watching excursion.  Actually, my #1 goal is to not get sea sick so that I might fully appreciate a humpback should I see one.  The sea otters are also on my must see list.  I’d so like to bring a couple home to keep in the Maquoketa River, although I know that’s not possible.  Bob just suggested I might find some in Otter Creek, a small town next to us in Iowa.  (Inspired by the Blogher conference, Bob’s now considering a side gig as a humor blogger.)

So even though I could write all day and tell you how many ways my world has changed in the last week simply by getting myself out in it, I have some waves to catch, salt to smell, sand to squeeze between my toes, and whales to talk to in my best Dory whale voice.

In the meantime, I hope you discover a little magic in your day today.

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