Monday, November 23, 2015

Travel & Schema

I watched in awe this morning as the sun slowly rose over Niagara Falls. My morning routine radically transformed, and blessed became an insufficient word to describe the feelings of wonder, majesty, and joy that swept over me.

Travel is my guilty pleasure. It broadens my horizons, helps me make sense of the world, and forces me to reevaluate my deeply held beliefs. This trip has been years in the making, and I feel a sense of sadness because it's the last part of the U.S. I've longed to explore. I have been lucky enough to travel to over 40 of our great states, and I've seen all of the major touristy spots across the country.

From the Grand Canyon, to Yellowstone National Park, to the towering skyscrapers of NYC, I've witnessed beauty beyond measure. The dominant landscape of Mount Rushmore is etched in my brain, and the bright lights of Las Vegas still flash in my mind. I've seen glaciers in Alaska, the beaches in southern California, and the Great Smokey Mountains of Appalachia. Along the way, the dendrites and synapses have formed pathways that help me better comprehend the books I've read. My mind movies are dramatically improved when I have background knowledge that helps me visualize the setting of a story.

Every time I visit a new part of this vast continent, I am overwhelmed by the sense of gratitude that envelopes my mind, body, and spirit. I recently came across a powerful quote by Mark Twain that captures the human truth about leaving the comforts of home and exploring the unknown and unfamiliar. These words represent my experiences, and today I am grateful for every travel adventure I've lived.

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