• by b.l. richards

Stepping Out

I'm going to be honest. As much as I like to travel, I do like to return home to my own bed, and it feels good for about a day or two (depending on jet lag - maybe a week), but then I get the itch to go somewhere else again. Luckily I have some stored episodes of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, National Geographic, or Rick Steves reminding me of some possible destinations that I haven't been to yet. I immediately start to jot down ideas on yellow legal pads and post-it notes. A few days after I have returned from my last journey, the planning for the next adventure has begun.

For some, travel may be as as easy as stepping out the front door, hopping a train or a Vespa, and heading toward the unknown. For others, it might be a little more daunting.

Where do I go?

How do I get there?

What if I get lost?

Lose my luggage?

Get stuck at a foreign border with no I.D.?

You might have an infinite list of excuses of why you don't travel, or you are just plain scared.

The main focus of this blog is to share stories of travel but also to share some insights and things I have learned along the way. Just about everyone in the world has a smart phone attached to themselves at all times where they can access the world and find out where Tanzania is on a map or find out how you prepare Súrir hrútspungar, an Icelandic food. I dare you to look up that last one. I just did. Yum! The world is now at our fingertips. But until you dance a jig in Dublin, go mushing on a glacier in Alaska, out box a kangaroo in Melbourne (don't do this, you will lose), parasail in Puerto Vallarta, or run and catch the last boat from an island volcano in Auckland, you have not yet lived. You can't do any of those things with an iPhone, no matter what model it is.

I have been fortunate to have had the ability to do a lot of traveling but I know it's not easy and not cheap, however, this blog will have local stories from my home base of Southern California, and tips on getting creative in experiencing worldly things right in your backyard.

Find an Irish pub nearby and learn to play the fiddle?

Go snorkeling in a body of water close to you?

Take a cooking class and have your taste buds do the traveling for you?

You don't have to cross the world to do many of these things. I just want you to step out your front door and stop watching other people on television doing things you only think you wish you could do.

I like to take a mindful approach to travel. Yes, being cognizant of my surroundings in a strange land but also being in the moment. You can miss a lot by travelling and running to the next museum or tourist trap. Again, that might be for you. What I like to do is slow it down, find a cafe, grab an espresso and watch the world unfold. I might get into a conversation with a local and discover that we have so much in common or watch a child play with a boat in a nearby fountain. Or discover a picture perfect moment in a wonderful place that gives me another story to write. Whatever it is that you do or want to do in life, mindful travel can open up wonders that you never dreamed of.

My first assignment for you: walk outside and walk over to that park you always see on your drive home but never stopped. Sit under that big oak tree down the street and watch the world. Hike that hill that you always wanted to but were fearful you couldn't make it to the top. Getting to that hill, park or tree is the goal. It's that first step you take that is important, step 2, 3, 4, and so on will come. If you get anything from this post, it's that you got up from your computer or phone and walked outside.


#adventure #experience #destinations #journey #mindfultravel

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