“How do you do it?” a friend asked me recently.
“I just go.”
It’s that simple. In 2011, I flew across the country, rented a car, and drove 1800 miles to visit six national parks over two weeks just because I love national parks. Were there challenges? Sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
In contrast, my friend has lived near San Francisco for almost ten years and has yet to go to Yosemite despite the fact that it’s only three hours away. Hey, he has a family. I get it. And maybe he doesn’t have a burning desire to see it. Not everyone is a nature lover, you know. Fair enough. But if someone told you that there was a world class restaurant, museum, event–whatever–that was reasonably accessible to you, you wouldn’t be the least bit curious to see what the hype was about?
Deep inside ever person is an explorer. Sure, people may have told him all about it, but hearing about it is not the same thing as seeing it. Feeling it. Tasting it. There is no substitute for experience. Without experience, there is no growth, and things that do not grow stagnate and decay.
I hope that my friend will one day check out Yosemite, one of the world’s natural wonders. Just go. Make it a family day trip. You can see the highlights without ever leaving your car if you wants. This is not about nature being awesome and good for the soul. It’s about connecting to what make us human. You see, plants make food far better than we. Animals are faster and stronger. Machines solve complex problems in mere seconds. But the capacity to wonder–now that has always been a very human trait. What are we without it?