I was born…no, I won’t go there, except to say that I’m a fifth generation Floridian. That’s a rarity I’m told. I no longer live in Florida, but I do visit now and then, and still covet the temperate climate and the hint of ocean breezes that stretches far inland if you pay close attention.
Now I spend most of my time in Georgia. That is when I’m not traveling elsewhere. It doesn’t take much to send me packing, as it were, to see the aurora borealis in Iceland; teach nursing in The People’s Republic of China; attend an opening of a world premiere opera in Thailand; be plucked from the crowd for a whipping by a Magyar horseman in Hungary; take a spiritual pilgrimage to India; or surreptitiously dispose of mead in an Irish castle. By the same token I welcome closer destinations by stage directing gigs at a theatre in North Carolina; attending professional chef classes in the North Georgia mountains; the many festivals and arts programs available in and around Atlanta; and the flora and fauna in my own yard.
All this to say that traveling some makes me want to travel more, but sometimes all I have to do is walk outside my front door to see something new. And sometimes I don’t even have to leave the house since my dogs and cats assure a disruption of routine when I least expect it–like picking random times to walk over my keyboard when I’m working, or letting loose a heart-stopping howl simply because the mood struck.
It’s all special, wonderful, fun, and yes, occasionally difficult. But it’s all useful, too. In some form or another I use these experiences in my writing and directing, if not in my ever-changing personal view of the world and all it has to offer. “Grist for the mill,” as a friend of mine says. He’s right.