When you travel, it is not just the sights that you take in, but the sounds, smells and tastes of a place. I will forever remember the smells of the Market in Charleston, the sounds of the call to prayer in Cairo and the tastes of Italy which seem to hang permanently in the air.
It is interesting how we spend years in a town and sometimes do not explore it as we do other places when we travel. We don’t try the local recommended dive-y spots for food, or visit our local museums en masse. We tend to frequent spots we know well, find favorites and become regulars there.
The other day on a beautiful hike through the Great Smoky Mountain Park, a friend and I decided that we needed to explore where we live. We decided to pull up Trip Advisor and see the Top 10 Places to visit in Knoxville. As adventurers and long time residents of Knoxville, we had been many of the top places as suggested on Trip Advisor. However, there were a few places that we had missed.
As a part of the Artist’s Way journey, I am asked by the author to take myself on an artist ‘date’ every week. It is a part of the journey of exploring creativity and being an artist. This week, I went to Lakeshore Park, a park that friends of mine go to regularly, but I had never been to until today. I circumvented the two miles of concrete trail among construction, twice. The skies were gray and the wind blew heavily, but it was a refreshing wind and a renewing wind. As I walked, I read a book the entire time. It was a little dizzying, but fun to walk and read, something that I love to do and used to do in college. It was a small new exploration, but an exploration none the less. It is a simple park, but I felt a renewal nonetheless.
I hope to attend the Museum of East Tennessee History soon and write about it, as it is a part of my current culture and where I currently dwell. For years, I only wanted to explore places in foreign countries or big cities. I loved tossing out how many places I had traveled, foods I had tried and countries I know well. While all the while, there were new places to explore right at my feet.