So as you’re probably aware of by now, I’m an intern at Missouri Life Magazine in Boonville, MO. Since it’s a statewide magazine that covers every corner of the state, a certain amount of travel is involved. Now it’s not the size of Alaska, but Missouri is no pipsqueak either. Luckily most of my drives have been in the two to three hour range, although I do have at least one coming up that will be more along the lines of four hours, but I don’t have to think about that just yet.
On my last excursion I compiled three different assignments into one trip, so as to save on gas monies that I desperately lack. I went to Lexington for a house story and took pictures of their courthouse, and then I went all the way to Kansas City, which is about 40 minutes from Lexington, to do a wine tasting and snap some quick photos of the Amigoni Urban Winery.
I’ve always been a thrifty, if not miserly so I’m all about consolidation and use as few of resources as possible to get a job done. So when my mumsy said I was crazy to do three assignments in one day I just said, “psssh, mama please.” Granted the next day I was slated to photograph an outdoor wedding all day. It proved to be a tiring, if not emotionally reassuring weekend. I was doing what I loved (and getting paid for part of it!) which was a great reassurance that I was going into the right line of work.
Traveling itself is tiresome, but it is also exciting. I love seeing new places, no matter how small or outdated the locale may be. Just seeing the world from a different perspective is enough to draw me away from home. Since I’ve lived in the same place for most of my years, it’s refreshing to go to a small town, or a big city, and ask them why they do what they do. People’s motivations are one of my biggest interests. It’s great to know who’s doing what, but it’s even better to know why. You learn much more about them and the world we all live in. It helps you form your own opinions on life, and may even sway you in the future when deciding where (or if) you hunker down.
For instance, I would live in Oregon in a heartbeat. I’ve been there a couple times, visiting family that lives in the center of the state. Everyone that I came across was just happy. A funny notion, isn’t it? There were all the large trees everywhere, the average person seemed to have a canoe or kayak on the top of their car, and despite the rainy weather in Portland, everyone had a smile on their face. I heard no complaints and saw no one experiencing road rage. I’m sure these things do happen, but at a much lower frequency.
When I commented on this to a family friend, she said, “Of course we’re happy to be here, we’re surrounded by the majesty that is nature! It’s no wonder we have an appreciation for the planet with evidence of its greatness everywhere we go.” I thought that summed it up perfectly. I feel my happiest in Missouri whenever I’m out on a trail hiking, overlooking vistas or when I’m dipping an oar into a flowing river, wildlife enveloping me from all sides. It really does make you consider Earth more carefully whenever you’re, well, surrounded by earth.
So I encourage everyone to travel. Even if it’s just around your home state. I’ve lived in Columbia, Missouri for 15 years, and I haven’t seen even a fourth of this state. I’m surprised every time I take off in a new direction. You don’t have to go to Paris or The Great Wall to see how truly amazing the world is, it’s just outside your door, waiting to be explored.