When you need a break, look nearby

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One of the things I find true enjoyment in is traveling to different places within about an hour or so from home. Less than a tank of gas will take you quite a few places in the greater Spokane area. It’s truly one of the things that I love about my home: the geography changes in just a few minutes.
This year alone, I’ve managed to see the natural beauty of the Northern Lights, historic cities like Wallace and Sandpoint (both in Idaho), and find unknown streets and neighborhoods just by taking a different route home or sacrificing some of that precious weekend time to venture outside my comfort zone. Some places I’d love to find again and others… well, let’s just say I’ll take my regular route next time. But the off-chance of finding a city or town with a great history is pretty exciting.
My camera is attached to my hip on every one of these chance ventures, and I’ve captured a great many sights. Small towns just outside Spokane are some of the most interesting places in the Pacific Northwest, even though living in one can be maddening for a younger person like myself.
Sure, living in a town of 300 people could get pretty mundane after a while – for comparison, Spokane’s metropolitan area is around 500,000. It truly does take a special type of person to turn a town of 300 to 10,000 a place where people want to visit. Wallace is a special little place because of some great history and a group of dedicated residents making the city so much bigger than themselves. Meanwhile other towns, even the ones with thousands of people, can’t muster up enough culture to even begin growing some form of excitement.
Now, I travel away from Spokane every once in a while to leave things behind. Work. Traffic. Mass amounts of people. Frustration. Stress.
That’s the world in which I live, and I bet that’s where you live, too. Otherwise, why take vacations if we enjoy things in our lives? We go elsewhere to escape our problems, hoping that a change of scenery will offer us a bit of a reprieve. What a great life, huh? We live to get away.
But sadly, getting away from things is only a weakness and a diversion from solving our real problems in life. That doesn’t mean you can’t be productive during such a diversion, though.
Many of us are stressed and tired, myself included. But a different routine or a quick detour helps change even the most frustrating situation for the better. A different perspective can shed new light in your life. A different turn at the light can bring something new your way.
Personally, I’m delighted by the change of scenery this weekend, even of it is just for an hour or so. Although, admittedly, this delicious ice cream cone I’m enjoying in Harrison, Idaho, may be distorting my objectivity somewhat.
Get out and see what lies outside of your daily routine. Break out of the rut and change something in your life if you don’t enjoy it. It’s all in your hands.

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