“All this was just up that side road? Doh!”
But life is like that. We pass by interesting, beautiful, enriching things because we don’t know they’re there, because we never paused to consider whether anything might be there, because we had more pressing things to do.
They say ignorance is bliss, but learning you’ve been ignorant and that you’ve missed a lot of opportunities because of it isn’t blissful at all.
On family vacation trips my father was so focused on getting to the destination that we never stopped at cool things along the way. I’ve inherited a tiny bit of that destination fixation. But my lack of detours has mostly been due to the aforementioned ignorance. I would have stopped if I had known.
So I’ve vowed to myself to do more homework before heading off anywhere. And to slow down. Yes, I could get from A to B in a day and a half, but there’s seldom any reason to hurry. What if I took a week instead? Or a month? “Get out the books, Al. Get out the maps. Get out of the rut.”