When we set out on a journey, how much of it do we truly try to expect? Most of the time, it seems that the expectations we have for a trip can drastically change the way we perceive all that we encounter.
Even as we begin to craft the hotels and restaurants on our wish lists or the sights we begin to cross off as not within our scope of interest, we are crafting a certain reality with our trips.
But some times our trips don’t quite go as planned.
The places we marked high on our intended venues turn out to be mediocre whereas the spots we venture into to get out of the rain or sit down for a few spare moments become unexpected delights.
I like to think that as I return home after being abroad, even if the trip is with travel and business in mind, that I will know what to expect. I mean, coming home is supposed to be familiar and welcoming. With each visit home, this is never the case. The people, places, food and all the planning in the world are never actually the reality that I have created beforehand.
So why is it so easy for me to accept the unknown when I travel to developing countries of the world and not with a “home” country that hasn’t been my home for over three years? Is it that the concept of home and the concept of exotic cannot mutually exist in my mind? As the pull of travel takes over, does home become a separate entity as “the other”?
It wasn’t until I brought a travel companion to help me on my travel work in the States that I began to re-examine what exactly makes my home an exciting and unique travel destination for so many others in the world. Asia was my expat life, yet it was everything that my companion had built as her home.
Constructivists may have been onto something when they developed a way of thinking of the world as constructed realities based on our own experiences and rose-colored lenses. So this summer tour across the American Southwest is all about replacing those rose-colored lenses with some gold aviators and dig deeper to find the golden elements of the American wild and urban west!