For the past few days, I went away on a little vacation to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is somewhere I’ve been going on vacations since I was very young, since I have family who lives there. In the recent years, I began visiting on solo trips, sometimes for specific events (ie., hockey games) and sometimes just.. because. My trip this time really got me thinking about things – mainly, the joys of being somewhere and what it all means.
Now, let me be perfectly clear about something. I was born in Buffalo, raised in Buffalo, and I live in Buffalo now. I have absolutely nothing against this city. I like it well enough, I have pride about it, and you can bet if someone says something nasty about MY city, I’m not afraid to put my foot down and correct them.
But when I go away to Pittsburgh – or Toronto, for that matter, or probably anywhere – I get a sense of wonder that I just can’t seem to find at home. The city fills me with excitement and joy and this energy that feels so potent that it could drive me to do ANYTHING I set my mind to. It rejuvenates and refreshes me in a way that Buffalo never has.
My question, however, is this: Why? Is it really the city of Pittsburgh/Toronto/wherever? Or does the true joy lie in leaving a place that means something to you, to visit a place that is new and exciting and different than what you’re used to every day?
I think it’s the latter.
Obviously, the city of Pittsburgh (or Toronto, or any other city) is wonderful. But I think my ecstasy from visiting there comes from the joy of being someplace different, on my own, independent, with a world of possibilities laid out in front of me. Perhaps the specialty of it all lies in the simple fact that I only have short amounts of time there, and that’s what makes it so great.
When you live in a place, you get used to it. You get comfortable there; you get comfortable to the sights, the sounds, the people, the smells, all of it. But when you go somewhere knew, you’re not used to it in that same way, and I think that’s what makes it special.
Now, of course, that isn’t to say that people don’t still appreciate the beauty of their hometowns/where they live. I’m sure (or I’d hope) that people in Paris wake up everyday and appreciate the beauty of that city. (I’ve never been there, but I know it’s beautiful.) The same with the people in Kelowna. (Seriously, have you seen it? It’s gorgeous.) I’d hope that the people living there still can appreciate how amazing it is, the same as someone who is visiting would.
At any rate, my point is…. it’s just an amazing thing to go somewhere and be filled with this energy like I was during my recent trip. I’m back home in Buffalo now, but I am using that rejuvenation, that refreshing energy as a power source for the time being, until I go away again and get recharged yet again.