In Tri-Cities, Washington, the hiking trail up Badger Mountain was terrific, as was the view from the top.The river is a beautiful green oasis snaking through the region. I found myself thinking, "It would be so great to live here and have access to this trail and this view."
In Seattle, I went for a walk on Alki Point and reminisced about when I used to live nearby and take my young son to play on the beach.
Our current trip took us south and through Bend, Oregon, where we stopped at an Italian coffee shop, started wandering the streets and found a little courtyard just off the Deschutes River, where we sat in the sun and almost ended our trip right there it was so beautiful.
Enjoying the lovely views, the atmosphere and people of all the places I've been visiting the past month or so, I couldn't help comparing them to where I live in Spokane.
Everywhere else seemed so fresh and exciting. Here, or there would be a great place to get out and exercise. This place or that would be so relaxing, so close to nature. Wow, what great restaurants and shops they have in this town.
It made me realize that I have come to take for granted the lovely views in my own city, the places to exercise not far from my front door, the opportunities to observer nature in my own backyard.
Rick Steves says travel is intensified living. And I have found that to be true on my recent road trips. It has opened my senses to the world around me and helped me more fully appreciate both the strange and distant and the well-known close up places.