Posts Tagged ‘hometown’

Riding the Bus

As of two days ago, my primary means of transportation became my bike. As I simplify my life and prepare for my journey, I sold both of my cars and the majority of my large possessions.  My clothing, books, ski and climbing gear are safely tucked away in a friends basement and I now find myself with only a backpack, two changes of clothing, this laptop and a sturdy pair of shoes.

In a previous post, I discussed being a tourist in your hometown. The first step to this is taking public transportation. On my first local bus ride since living in Boulder, I did find myself as a tourist. I had to ask for imageinformation about the fare, how to transfer, where the bus picked up, etc. I had the little panic attack as the departure time approached and I suddenly realized my bus was parked on the other side of the station! I jumped on as it was pulling away from the curb- I’m sure I’ll have plenty of these moments abroad!  Needless to say as I took a seat in the middle of the bus I found myself much more aware of my surroundings than I would have been in my car. I was invited to watch the other people on the bus, the street and the general activity of the town. Its almost as if I removed myself from the action as an active participant and became a third party observer. The bus sometimes takes small alternative roads to reach stations and I found myself surprised at some of the nooks and crannies that existed right in my back yard. In my Google Maps efficiency mode, I would have never dreamed of not going directly from point A to point B.  Yes, it did take me 90 minutes to reach a destination that would have taken 50 in my car. Did I lose 40 minutes? Maybe I actually gained 50.  What do you think? Comments welcome!

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Be a tourist in your home town

Yesterday I spent the day as I often do when I’m alone in foreign cities – riding my bike, walking, people watching and just generally exploring. I meditated in the park, read half of a book at a quaint coffee shop and played a few minutes of pick up basketball in a park I never even noticed before.  Its interesting how quickly we fall into patterns in our own cities and miss so much!  I recently read two great articles that inspired me to look at my own town anew:

How to Travel at Home

7 Steps for Creating an In-Town Vacation

My biggest struggle is relinquishing the need to feel ‘accomplished’ and productive each day as I have been the vast majority of my life.  I’ve been so patterned by corporate america that I know it won’t be a quick transition.  Watching parents with their children, homeless people by the creek and independently wealthy people go about their business served as a good reminder – its not all about ambition and linear success.  Sometimes its a simple as stopping to smell the roses…

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