Merriam-Webster defines wanderlust as, “a strong desire to travel.”

Ever since I can remember I’ve always watched travel shows, especially the ones on PBS before the Travel Channel came around. I was fascinated with how people in other countries lived, what their cities looked like and how they spent their time.

And I was most enchanted with the travelers/hosts and their journey through these different sites. Not all of the most interesting places were necessarily international locales. There are some great and fascinating sites right around the corner or across the country — just waiting on you to discover their magic.

I’m stalling on getting my Passport. I really don’t know what is taking me so long — but it will happen soon. Plus, I’m almost sure that once it does I’ll be booking the first international trip I can get my hands on.

Being the daughter of an educator, learning is something that is ingrained in my being. I love the sensory and visual experience of learning. Being able to immerse myself into a location — strolling about, talking to people and getting a feel of the place is thrilling. So it’s natural that travel is one of my true loves. And nothing awakens your senses than talking to local people of a particular town and finding out their stories. You’d be amazed at what you can glean from them.

When you get to know people who don’t live just down the street from you, your whole world — or at least a speck of it — cracks open. There’s something to stepping out of your comfort zone and getting a fresh new view.

I recently returned from a lakeside community in the Midwest (more on that in a future article) but it was somewhere I would have never thought to travel, nor a place I had even heard of before. But what a wonderful experience I had. I got to spend some of the last days of summer surrounded by nothing but amazing views, and had a serene and peaceful time. Talk about rejuvenation!

And even though international travel should be on all of our bucket lists, domestic travel is very ripe with the advantages of experiencing different cultures. Just as I mentioned in last month’s travel piece on Ann Arbor, I was pleasantly surprised at the many different languages I heard spoken while walking through downtown, and the many different culturally-themed restaurants that were available. Even small instances like those are what makes seeing a new place inviting and enjoyable.

I’m not saying the next trip you take will change the world, but it can’t hurt to try. So step out of your comfort zone, book that flight and see what you learn. You just might shock yourself.


LaTria Garnigan is the Magazine Coordinator for Cobb Life. She has more than 10 years of experience editing newspapers and magazines. When she's not working, she enjoys trying out new recipes, traveling and binge-watching and live-tweeting TV shows.

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