Things have been a bit serious over here at the Porch Swing lately, and for good reason. Strangely, I started this blog on the morning of the Tucson shootings (before they happened), and that event has occupied my consciousness, and therefore my writing, quite a bit in the last week and a half. And while I intend to try to post some serious writing here, I also intend to have fun. So here's something on a lighter note.
Due to various school, work, and life overlaps and obligations, it looks like we won't be traveling abroad this year, which is something that I really wanted to do before my husband starts graduate school (which will hopefully be soon). We love to travel, and I tend to have an unbearable sense of urgency about it - if we don't do it NOW, we'll never do it! - whatever adventure "it" may be. But the other night, we sat down and looked at the calendar and realized that an extended trip abroad just isn't in the cards this year. So rather than dramatically lament our fate - "we'll end up having kids and then never doing anything" (ok, I might have said that) - I have dubbed 2011 our year of living locally.
Granted, we will still be leaving Tucson, and Arizona, plenty - a Colorado backpacking trip and my sister's wedding in Door County, Wisconsin, for starters, and knowing us we'll squeeze something else in there. So don't feel too sorry for us. But this attitude is about more than staying home. In fact, it's not really about staying home at all, but about exploring all the amazing things our region has to offer. Jason and I have both lived in Tucson for six years, and while we often get out and about, there are still so many canyons unexplored, so many creeks un-birded, peaks un-summited, mountain bike trails un-shredded. It's time to get out there.
I think as a culture, we tend to sacrifice short trips and weekend adventures in the name of one long, glorious, two-week vacation in paradise, and I'm not sure the one is really worth the sacrifice of the other. (I'm all for nice, long vacations - I think two weeks of vacation a year is a crime - I'm just saying that shouldn't be it.) Work fifty weeks and play for only two? Life is way too short for that. This, of course, speaks to a larger cultural issue of workaholism, but that's a rant for another post. The point is, we can have adventures, travel to places we've never been, learn something about our own culture or the natural environment or ourselves - all in a local day's play. Sometimes, we get so focused on the big plans that we forget the small ones, which can be just as rewarding and can happen every weekend: little shots of adventure, of novelty, reminders that the grand world is actually right outside our door.