I lived in the Netherlands for a year and visited the Anne Frank House 5 times. At the school I attended, some of the kids there told me they had never been.
It seems that most of us don’t visit or explore attractions and sites ~ historic, cultural or otherwise, that are in our own backyard. I saw more of the Netherlands than many who were in school with me, who were from there. I was so fortunate to be accepted into a rotary club that were very involved. Almost every family with the Rotary club hosted me for a day or a weekend to take me for a tour, to visit something they wanted me to see. This was something special or a part of their life or simply incredible scenery or attraction they knew I just had to see. I went to sand dunes, car shows, museums, art galleries, historic sites, Operas, canal tours, flower fields and gardens, bike tours, cheese factories and windmill tours. To name a few.
When I returned home, we had one of my host sisters, Claartje, stay with us for nearly a month. Of course we showed her the sights around our area and it was amazing to see her reaction. To appreciate through someone else, how truly amazing the sights and experiences are in my own backyard.
Growing up, my parents were very good at making sure we always explored. We did day trips to check out various places all around us. We had season passes to Butchart Gardens so we could enjoy the changing colour and various seasons of the plants and flowers. We went on road trips in our motorhome, and they encouraged us to look out the windows always and at every turn. Just experience it, you don’t always get to see this view, they would say.
I love exploring, and to this day I just love soaking in the sights. Do you look at your surroundings as if you had not experienced it before? Try imagining how newcomers would feel and what they would appreciate.
I have a week off from work next week, and look forward to getting out to some favourite sights while I can. Last year, with Covid, we really couldn’t do much, even locally. I want to go to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where I spent some volunteer hours back in my art school days, a few beaches that I love ~ Oak Bay has beautiful ocean walks, and do some hiking as well. Since not being able to do some of these things for a couple of years now, I will enjoy them with a new appreciation. To Explore is to experience and that is what we are here in this life for, is it not?