I recently saw a blog entry entitled: “Travel Inspirations: Looking Further Than Your Own Backyard” and it got me thinking about how I explore. I’ve travelled a bit, and lived in three different countries, crossing the equator to do so. Is it because I’m Australian and we tend to value exploring the world? Is it because I’ve achieved a financial independence that my foremothers were always denied by the ones who were supposed to love them most? Is it because as a society, we never seem to be happy with what we’ve got, and look further afield for satisfaction? For whatever reasons, I tend to look way beyond my backyard for travel inspiration. And I think that’s a problem. Let me explain why.
Everywhere I’ve lived has gems that I’ve never discovered. When people discover I’m from Melbourne, they mention the Twelve Apostles or The Grampians, or broader Australian attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (aka Ayers Rock). Have I travelled to any of these places? Nope. And now that I’ve spent more than three years in France, I’m doing it again. When I first arrived, I was so excited to learn of a cheese maker in Thônes who does tours, the farm across the road from my place in La Clusaz where you can feed the cows in winter when they’re bored in their sheds, and the farm just up the road that sells fresh eggs and butter which I thought I’d visit regularly for such treats. There are cheese caves in Le Grand Bornand where visits can be arranged! Have I done any of these things? Nope. Okay, I’ve discovered all sorts of other great things around this area, but why do I look beyond my own backyard when there’s still so much more to explore on my doorstep?
This week, I asked my friends if they do the same. One has been in a cheese cave at Le Grand Bornand, but it was to do with work. Nobody had been on the cheese making tour, and one friend had fed the cows right opposite my old place in La Clusaz when she was with some children. I trumped them all with my multiple visits to the goat farm, with extra points for regularly buying cheese from it. But still, we’re all a bit hopeless.
So, my challenge to myself and to you is to explore more of the local treats in your area and see just what’s there to discover and enjoy. Time starts now.