Our family just got back from San Francisco. It was perfect weather. The completely different scenery and diverse population were fascinating. Everyone got along almost all the time. We had a great time -- success!
But even on the heels of this successful adventure I will readily admit I don't like to travel. It's just not in my top ten list of things I like to do. Probably not in my top one hundred. And to some people that's a crime. It's just not right to not like to travel.
About a year ago I was with a group of women, chatting. One of them mentioned a trip she was planning and how excited she was. The rest of the group got excited as well, talking about how much fun they were going to have. I said I didn't like to travel (at an appropriate time, not just in the middle of everything). The room went silent.
They stared at me like I had two heads. How could anyone not like to travel? How can you possibly not want to visit every corner of the earth? (Especially the travel agent in the room. You'd have thought I just said her kids were ugly by how offended she seemed.)
I like reading about, hearing about, or watching documentaries about other places. Other people and lifestyles fascinate me. But not enough to want to go there. I just really like where I am. There are enough incredible things to see within a two or three hour range of my house to keep me busy and satisfied for a lifetime. Actually, there's enough in my own town to keep me happy for a lifetime. I just honestly cannot think of another place in the world I'm dying to visit. My life will be perfectly complete if I never leave my hometown again.
But what I found most interesting in this whole thing is how strongly it affected the other women in the room. Why should they care if I don't like to travel? Why would they spend the next fifteen minutes trying to convince me that if I were with the right person or "did it right" then I would love to travel? Why isn't it okay for me to feel differently about something they love?
I bear no ill will toward those who like to travel. In fact, I love hearing about their trips when they come back. I love watching their faces light up as they describe each incredible thing they saw or did.
I love differences of opinion (as long as they are handled respectfully). I think that's what makes our world function. How would we survive if no one wanted to farm because everyone wanted to be an electrical enigineer? What would happen if all little boys grew up to be firefighters and no one became a garbage man? We need diversity.
So feel how you want to feel. Celebrate what you want to celebrate. Love what you want to love. And please offer me the same freedoms.