My whole adult life, if you’d asked me whether or not I like travel, I’d have told you no.

No, I’m really more of a homebody.

No… I like visiting people, but the travel part doesn’t really appeal; it’s more a means to an end.

No, I don’t have any big itch to see all the interesting places people put on their bucket list. I’m sure I’d enjoy seeing interesting, beautiful, or historic places, but I don’t have any particular drive to do so.

I would have been lying.

Oh, I thought it was true. I am a homebody and I don’t have a travel itch, but there’s something about going someplace I haven’t been.

Andrew and I took a trip to Tennessee in August with 5-week-old Lilly. I’ve been to Tennessee before, but it’s been roughly 20 years.

I was astounded.

The trees look different than the trees back home.

The air certainly felt different than the air at home.

There was a 3-inch bright green mantis sitting on our red rental car when we got it. That never happens at home.

They use brick in Tennessee. For lots of good reasos, we don’t use brick at home. It was gorgeous.

The one afternoon we were free to wander, I ran around with my camera taking pictures of nothing special. Spiderwebs, pinecones, bricks, clocks, flowers,  anything. It was 90 degrees and 90% humidity and I had a 5-week-old tied to my body with five yards of thick cotton knit.


My alaskan body was tremendously uncomfortable.

My heart was delighted.

As I wandered about with my best friend in all the world, shooting and sweating, I realized I do like travel. All on its own. Not for any fascinating destinations or bucket-list experiences.

Travel gets me out of my rut just enough that I’m naturally present, without having to work at it.

I notice all the pretty little things. They’re not necessarily things that would be noteworthy to the locals, but rather the lovely ordinary.

As I consider it, I think that the travel itself, while nice, isn’t strictly necessary for this.

The lovely ordinary is all over, even at home and in my rut.

Time to pay attention.

This post is part of the write31days challenge… I’m trying to post every day in October. Or, you know, lots of days in October. The rest of the posts can be found here.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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  1. I am a gypsy at heart, love travel. It is never the big things in a country that WOWs me, but the little things that I didn’t expect to see. Right now I am in love with the lemon trees here in Perth, every time I see one I am in awe that I am seeing a lemon tree(?)


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