People are essentially the same everywhere you go, but more so if the situations surrounding them are similar. Seems stupid to say, but I’m going somewhere with it.
If you go to a smaller city anywhere in the country and eat at a a small local favorite diner, you’ll encounter the same people. They will all wear hats and shirts supporting the local sports team, there will always be a at least one booth that’s a couple of older friends you can tell have been eating there together for years and years, and the waitress is 100% likely to call you “honey” or “sugar”. Obviously you can’t go to Chicago and expect it to be like Topeka, but you can go from somewhere like Jackson, Mississippi, to Everett, Washington and in some ways it’s the same. Sure, there are mountains right outside the window of the diner as opposed to the normal view in Jackson of a parking lot where nobody knows how to park. But it still feels a tad bit like home.
It’s a diner, so you’ll find the same stuff on the menu that you would expect: bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, cheap gross coffee. There will be local specialties, like some magically ridiculous item known only as “Bacon Explosion”. And while you’re there, of course somebody is going to quote the movie The Other Guys and then about half of the restaurant will start loudly doing the same. It’s a small local diner. Of course they’re all going to quote The Other Guys.
Travel is so very important. Nothing can expand your vision, your worldview, nearly as well as travel. You don’t see anything the same once you have traveled the world and met all kinds of different people. But there’s also something unique about how much closer traveling can bring you to loving your own home. When you’re out on the road, you notice things that remind you why it is that you fell in love with anywhere, especially if you love your home. If you don’t love your home, then yeah, all bets are off and you will probably have the worst wanderlust anyone could imagine. But if you love your home or at least feel content there, you notice those similarities and underlying qualities that we all hold and it brings you closer to the things you love at home.
It’s a two-way street. When you find what you love about home, then you can enjoy the road because you notice those same things. When you find home while you’re on the road, it has the amazing affect of helping you realize that home is always with you. On the road or not, you find what you love and embrace where you are. If you move to a new place, if it has those qualities you can adapt to it. If not, you’ll always miss something back home.
If you find home, then love and embrace it, but never stop wandering. Take home with you, show it off, share it with others, and find out from others what they love about home. Home is always with you.
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