Native Traveler Blog

Manifesto of a Traveling Homebody:

Go far.  Slow Down.  

Experience the World More Deeply.

 Dunfanaghy, Donegal

Dunfanaghy, Donegal

For me, wanderlust is a paradox — I am a traveling homebody. I crave the transformation that begins inside every airport town car, but equally, and deeply, I love home. It’s a seeming contradiction that’s taken me far and wide, and inspired this travel credo, of sorts:
go far, slow down, experience the world more deeply.

It's the rhythms and rituals of home I love, wherever, whatever they may be.   In Brimstone, my hamlet northwest of Toronto, it might be summer river swims with a Zenned-out fly fishermen casting nearby, or dinners at the 200-year-old Cellar Pub where host Brian bear hugs each patron like an old friend, startling those who aren't. In Saint-Julien-de-Lampon, in southwest France, it might be collecting walnuts mid-October with some elderly villagers who've harvested the same forest floor most of their lives.  In Goondiwindi, Australia, I think of gulping a frosty XXXX at the Victoria Hotel, our day’s work on a 15,000-acre sheep station done.

Insights, habits, and simple pleasures; where people eat, work, shop, ponder, court, and celebrate — I love these details that connect locals (and me) to where they live.  Their issues and crusades too.  It's the heroic and everyday stuff that propels local life.  Deeper than attractions (which one needn’t miss), all these are the heartbeats that define “home”.  And whenever I slow down long enough to hear them and slip into their simple rhythms (even briefly) something magical happens — I transform from traveler to denizen, from stranger to neighbor, from tourist to global citizen. 

In a world where one can explore travel bucket lists with the click of a mouse, live-local travel to me focuses on the most important and memorable part of actually being there — the human connections.  And what better way to find the common bits of our humanity, from Pittsburg to Peru, from Toronto to Takayama, than to grasp our many notions of home.   Like a famous Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home.” To which I’d add just this — wherever you are.