Our wedding marathon is almost at a close. I’m thrilled for our friends and family, I really truly am, but could someone decide they want to get married locally next time? Is that too much to ask? Mkay, thanks. Unless, of course, you want to pay us to fly to the Caribbean and get a place for a week. That is always accepted. Truly though, traveling to weddings is so difficult because you don’t get to enjoy where you’re visiting. The husband and I always try to squeeze in some sight-seeing but it’s always rushed. Mondays beckon and after the stress of a wedding, sometimes you just want to get home and sleep.
This last wedding took place in the hot, humid, flatlands of Alabama. I’ll have to admit it: Alabama may not be my favorite state. It’s hot. And flat. And the ocean was miles away to the south. Yet, the more we drove through the Midwest, (because in my opinion, once you hit Central Time Zone, you’re in the Midwest) the more I enjoyed it. This is America. The sprawling cornfields that spread out as far as the eye could see; those abandoned houses, sheltered from the winds by broad, green trees; winding streams that meander through the land; white cranes and blackbirds in the corn fields; the train, rolling along on its tracks pulling cars behind it…
Suddenly, it hit me. I may not like the red dirt, or the hot sun that makes my eyes squeeze shut, or I may not understand the cashier at Dollar General because her accent was that thick, but I can still be grateful for this land.
I started opening my eyes and taking it in and then I saw it, the beauty in the unexpected and sometimes, not beautiful places. Alabama isn’t going to be one of my top states to visit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it while I’m there.
I think the whole eye-opening part is vital to traveling. I don’t expect to love every place I’m going to visit. I understand that there are going to be drawbacks to living abroad. I know that at some point and time, I’ll want peanut butter in Scotland and I’ll probably long for a good southern accent while I’m in China. I may even crave Chic-Fil-A while I’m visiting Paris or heaven forbid, desire a Dairy Queen blizzard in Italy (although, that last one is unlikely. Gelato is pretty close to heavenly). Truthfully though, enjoy where you are, look for the little things, and maybe you’ll be surprised at the beauty around you.
PS. I actually pulled out my camera for my next post. :) Stay tuned!