We were heading to Southern California to help a friend out in need and figured heck, airline tickets are cheap, cheap, cheap now and they aren’t selling the middle seats, so crowds are down and comfort is up. Even better, a cousin lives nearby, a cousin we love to travel with, so why not visit on his turf? He’s a great cousin, Andres, and is close in age, the godfather of my firstborn son and he shares our same brand of humor and curiosity. We traveled to Europe together, boated together and always had a great time. And so off we went!
We expected a great time, given the company and tremendous amounts of cool things to see and do in Los Angeles. And it delivered. There were mountains and deserts, endless suburbs, perfect weather and famous locations. We saw the Hollywood sign on the mountainside and drove through the mind-blowing mansions in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, often with Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Lamborghinis peppering the driveways and streets. And then there were the beaches nearby: Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice and more. An easy scenic drive and we were in Santa Barbara. Driving the Pacific coast, we saw countless RVs parked along the roadway with spectacular oceanfront views, and we added a dozen more items to our future 6-12 month RV around-the-country bucket list.
When you visit someone on their own turf, you get the added benefit of a tour guide who knows what is near what, what’s worth seeing, and the most expedient or scenic way to get there. They also know where the best food is. You also develop a deeper respect and understanding of who they are and what’s so awesome about the characteristics that make them uniquely enjoyable to be around.
Travel offers an opportunity to experience both places and people in a way that you can’t replicate. Think about it. Is reading about a deep romance anywhere near a substitute for experiencing one firsthand? Watching a movie about surfing a medical issue certainly provides insights, but in no way can ever convey the depths of the experience nor the lasting changes. No amount of screen time watching Rambo or Navy Seals will ever make you the fighter they are. Even our latest big screen high definition televisions simply can’t match reality and experiencing firsthand life and the world we live in.
Why not get out there, even if just a little more, and live life a bit fuller. See more, experience friendships more, and expand your life. After all, there’s no substitute. Enjoy!