Leaving the familiar is critical to travel and to life. Doing something new is sometimes impossible unless you move past what is traditional, usual.
An important part of human growth is detaching from what has been important previously. A 20 year old who still sucks his thumb is a sad sight. A 40 year old who is still waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her is emotionally bereft.
What I enjoyed at one point in my life is not necessarily pleasurable to me now. So, I unsubscribe.
We hear people speak of a “learning curve.” An unlearning curve is equally important. A lifelong bibliophile, I prefer books with real pages to my Kindle. But I would be professionally foolish to resist electronic media as a productive member of the 21st century. I am writing this “blog” on a computer, not on a typewriter and not with pen and ink.
Nostalgia can be fun when I am with high school or college buddies playing the “remember when” game, but it can also be deadly. People fantasize about the “good ol’ days,” but I don’t want to return to the years before penicillin or to the Jim Crow racism with which I grew up. I enjoy the benefits of the safety features in my car. I am grateful for cell phones and air-conditioning. My grandson has never had to put aluminum foil around the rabbit ears on a television set.
Moving into unfamiliar areas is the very definition of travel—marshes, seashores, mountains, deserts, caves, rain forests, islands, canyons, rivers, urban landscapes. I love our kitchen, our back porch, home cooking, my family and most things familiar. God knows I do not like everything that is strange to me. I ate ants’ eggs one time and I did not like them! But my life is not limited to what I already know. Sometimes, instead of holding on, I need to let go.