If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when my blog reads like some half-baked travel brochure. I’m trying really hard to watch what I say here to guard against it.
One of the sacrifices to the cause: the word â€œexplore.â€
It’s become a mindless cliche. And I’ll admit I’ve used it carelessly.
Look â€¦ I’ve been to some rugged, remote and super-cool places. But I haven’t explored jack. Every place I’ve been â€¦ someone’s beaten me to it. By a long shot.
So I’ll leave breathless exhortations to â€œexplore our pristine forest preserveâ€ to the silly travel magazines.
And travelers: we do the same thing. We’re a self-aggrandizing lot, we are. We peck at our less-traveled friends, colleagues and relatives. We tell them to take a closer look at the world beyond them. We tell them to ring up some frequent flier miles. And we tell them to â€œexplore.â€ As if they’re going somewhere that doesn’t have electricity and flushing toilets.
I suppose you could argue that people can explore any spot that’s new to them. But damn, that is really weak sauce. It dilutes the mystique of exploration into a thin, lite-beer gruel.
And really, there’s nothing wrong with not being a true explorer. Just â€˜cause you’re not first doesn’t mean you’re last (right, Ricky Bobby?). I don’t mind a well-marked hiking trail. A trail with a system of huts with water? Freakin’ bliss. Amenities like that mean someone else got there first.
Look around. Check the world out. Push your limits. But just remember: You’re no explorer.
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