A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Simple Moments of Country Life January 26, 2009

I love the city. Bright lights, restaurants galore and endless entertainment options. The city arguably has everything a girl could want…well, almost.  After the countless nights of parading across town in high heels, short dresses and makeup, things become routine.  In a city, you are surrounded by what seems like a plethora of options: Thai food or Italian, Hollywood blockbuster or independent film, wine bar or pub, concert or performance, art gallery or coffeshop art, jazz or hip hop, rock climbing or ice skating.  There are so many choices of entertainment but upon closer inspection, the so called plethora of options are condensed into seven main categories: dining, movies, bars, concerts/performance, art, music or sports.  Occasionally you’ll find an event that breaks the mold of a typical Saturday night out like a beer pong tournament or national geographic lecture, but these seem few and far between. And, for the budget conscious person…*cough*…most of these entertainment options cost money! For two people you’re often looking at least $30 on dinner, $15 on movie tickets, $20-100 on your average bar bill, $40-200 on a concert/performance, at least $10 cover for live music and $20 at the climbing wall. This doesn’t even count the parking, gas or taxi costs.  Man oh man…I already feel a hole forming in my wallet.  And, during this economic crisis, that hole just keeps getting bigger and bigger until *poof!* where did my wallet go? Where is my money? All I want is to be entertained. All I want is a fun moment to remember!

One of the so called downfalls of living in a small town is that there are not a lot of entertainment options. When I first moved to Seattle and told people I was from Davenport, population 1500, people gasped, “What do you do? Do you even have television?”

“Yes, we have television and even Internet–crazy I know!” I would say. But, city people are right, there are not a lot things to do in Davenport. Correction, there are not a lot of things that you can pay to do. Besides bowling and…yup, well that’s about it.

So, what do you do in a small town then? Well, you get creative. You turn the simple things in life into entertainment and along the way you find that often times they are just as fun and more memorable than the cookie cutter options of city entertainment.

Last night for example,  I pulled on a pair of old blue jeans, laced up my boots and layered up with thermals and an old coat to combat the 9 degree weather outside before leaving my parent’s house to go help feed a newborn calf that had been abandoned by the mother.

Upon the first visit, we tried to get the mother to let the calf feed from her own milk. After several attempts and the mother nearly squashing her own calf, we left in a big blue pickup and later returned with an esophageal feeder, which basically looks like a giant UV sac and hose. We filled the sac with milk, glided the hose down the calf’s throat and in less the a minute the milk was on it’s way to filling the calf’s stomach.  The calf was so little it wobbled when it walked and you could easily hold it in your arms.

Although I know I could never move back to a town as small as Davenport, I am thankful that I was raised here and learned to appreciate the simple things in life.  It’s made me realize throughout the years that memories don’t need to wear a price tag. You don’t need to spend money in order to create a memorable moment. For me, it the moments that are random, unexpected and often times free that I cherish and remember the most–like holding a newborn cafe on a freezing winter night.

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Daily Challenge: Explore New Terrene November 15, 2008

You don’t need to quit your job, sell you things, and put everything in storage (ahem, or your parent’s garage–thanks mom and dad!) to make your life into a Traveler’s Terrene.  If you have the time, ambition and finances to do so I would definitely encourage this route as it gives you the most flexibility, freedom, and sense of adventure; however, it may not be practical if you have a mortgage, kids, school, a great career (the list goes on…). Yet, remember that these strings that tie you to an area, do have slack. Sure, you may not be able to jet off to a foreign country or cross an ocean, but you can explore the state and city you live in to get the same sense of adventure that comes with discovering the unknown.

How often is it that we live in an area and the tourist sees and knows more about our own city, because for us it is home not a destination?  I challenge you to transform the city you live into a destination.  Go to the tourist information center and play tourist for a day. After you do that, pick up a map and take a day trip to a nearby city that you’ve never been to for the afternoon. And, if you say you just don’t have time to do even these little things, then simply drive new routes on your way to work, take a bus and watch from the window or go running in a new direction–you’ll be surprised at all of the new little discoveries you find that are even a few blocks  away from your home because you are finally taking the time to LOOK, as tourists do, rather than travelling from point A to B as residents do.

Tonight I am off to Parma. I’m taking my little silver Fiat, a road map and hitting the highway in quest for some unexplored terrene.

Where are you going?