What I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the notion that to “travel and explore” one has to get out of the town and area they grew up in and experience themselves in places far and wide. That to have an Instagram worth following you have to go outside your city or country. Traveling and “going” in the wanderlust dream sense is something I have often wanted to do (and have done a little bit) but have found nurtures my sense of adventure and exploration just as much, if not a little less than, my home already does for me.
Maybe I’m a homebody, but I’ve found last summer and so far this one, that exploring the area I live in and have grown up in is somehow more beautiful than exploring another country. I’ve been to Mexico twice, the Dominican Republic once, and many of the U.S. states. I wish to visit many more places, but for the next few months, exploring home seems like a dream in and of itself. It has helped me to be grateful and to find beauty in the things that seem commonplace, mundane, and “normal.” Exploring where you live makes it feel more like it is your own because you know better than anyone who would come to tour your home (if they even would) the secret, out-of-the-way places, the best places to eat. Your places have memories attached to them. And if where you live isn’t a hot tourist place, it is somehow even better. I have an affection for quieter places where people don’t intentionally seek out. My home is such a place, and I want to share it with you.
Cincinnati is known for its airport (which is actually in Kentucky, it’s neighboring state to the south) it’s Skyline Chili (which everyone not from Cincy thinks is disgusting), a handful of historical buildings, and the bipolar tendencies of the weather due to the river valley. It is a dynamic city, diverse in color, culture, and history. If you were to visit, you might venture to Union Center Terminal, the Zoo (the second largest in the nation), to take a trolly downtown. All of these are wonderful experiences for native Cincinnatians, but for me, having grown up here, I like the Walmart parking lots at sunset, the sprawling sunflower fields, the art museums, the 10 ice cream shops open during the summer within a 3-mile radius. The church on literally every corner, etc.
I have been, for several months now, reading through the Bible chronologically and have been for the past month been in the seemingly never-ending yet fascinating tale of the downfall of the southern kingdom of Judah. I’ve just started Jeremiah, a rather lengthy prophetic book where nearly every chapter tells of God telling His people that they have forsaken Him, and He is going to take them out of their home. I wonder, while reading of this, if the people of Judah ever found the endearing, seemingly insignificant parts of their homeland, their cities, towns, etc. and found God in those places. As I read Jeremiah, I find many parallels to the downfall of God’s people to the downfall of the world today. And as such, I am more inclined to explore and appreciate the home I have now for what it is.
So, with all that being said, below I have places some pictures I’ve taken in the past week of my home. Not my house, so to speak. Don’t need any stalkers. But of the sun setting and of rainbows and other things that could make me look like a fashionable influential Instagrammer but really just come from my heart and normal everyday life.
Find the things that are endearing about your home. It will make the big journies to other countries more impactful when you make them. You don’t need a big backyard, you just need a backyard.