Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
When writing New Year's Resolutions, I don't know about you, but I'm always quick to jot down the things I "have" to do... lose weight, exercise more, eat more vegetables, keep better track of my spending. All of those things are great resolutions, but what about the resolutions to make to refuel your spirit?
Spirit-filled resolutions for me usually involve one simple statement - Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before. I can easily find one place I've never been before in my own state - without leaving the county I live in. But I like to make it a little more purposeful than that, so I take something that I am fascinated by - like learning more crochet techniques - and I go to google and type in "crochet show". That led me to the Crochet Guild of America's site, which then led me to the Knit & Crochet Show in May 2009. It's just in Portland, which is an easy 7 hour drive (it goes by faster than you think) or a really quick plane trip! This gives the added benefit of being able to stay at different hotels in different areas of the city, and also for me to indulge in a hobby that quickens my pulse - visiting haunted places. Every city has their rumors and tales of haunted places, and the Internet has a plethora of sites devoted to them. Whenever I go somewhere completely new, I always check out what in the area is purported to be haunted so I can try to check that out, too.
But sometimes my goal to go somewhere I've never been before inspires my imagination, and I look at my lists of places that I want to visit, just because I want to go! A few of the places are inspired by books that I've read, like 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff, which is an endearing collection of letters spanning 20 years between a New York writer (the aforementioned Ms. Hanff) and a London bookseller at Marks & Co, Mr. Frank Doel. The companion piece to this work - The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, is also by Ms. Hanff, and offers her travel journal up as she herself explored England. I want to follow her footsteps. This trip also fuels my love of Shakespeare. Going to Great Britain without exploring Shakespeare - who could dream of such a thing?
Is there an exotic location that has always intrigued you? Wander through your imagination and explore the spaces of places that captivate you, and then make a plan to go there! If you plan ahead, you have the benefits of finding some great deals online or tours that might be available. Set 2009 as the year you will go somewhere new!