Making Space for Awe – the Strangeness of Travel, Seattle edition

When I stop to think about it, air travel starts to seem like a truly strange thing. You wake up at home, in your bed, where things are familiar and “normal”; you go to the airport, those strange places where people bustle about, revealing the complexities of human nature; you enter the “time warp” of air travel; and a few hours later, there you are, in a completely new place.

As I walked around the University District neighborhood of Seattle this afternoon, I felt acutely aware of the strangeness of travel. Perhaps its due to the fact that after waking up at 4am EST and gaining 3 hours on my journey west I am slightly sleep deprived, but as I wandered through this neighborhood sipping a latte (from Herkimer Coffee) admiring the lovely craftsmen homes, I was struck with a sense of awe at the fact that here I was, exploring a new city.

As I looked at these houses, I kept imagining what it would be like to live here, in this city I don’t know, where I seemed to be the only person who felt the need to wear sunglasses on a cloudy (but glare-y!) day.  I passed the most incredible school-yard garden I have ever seen. The photo below doesn’t do it justice, unfortunately – you should’ve seen the kale! Seattle’s trees are a few weeks ahead of Virginia’s and I found myself smitten with the fiery reds, vibrant yellows, and deep purples of the trees. I saw beauty everywhere I looked – sometimes obvious, like the incredible rose garden in front of the Blessed Sacrament Church; sometimes less obvious, like the in-need-of repair house with a perfect “fall” tree and quirky car out front.

But most of all, as I walked around this afternoon, I felt grateful for this day, this opportunity, this new city that I get to explore. Strange though it may be, travel helps me to make space for awe. By getting out of familiar surroundings, I recognize the beauty of everyday life.

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4 comments

  1. shanna mallon · · Reply

    I totally relate to this. To wake up in one city and time zone and be so present there, stepping on that ground, breathing that air; then, through a few hours in the sky, to be suddenly somewhere Else, so fully there, breathing that air and seeing those people: it’s crazy. I hope I never lose the awe of it because it’s amazing.

    1. Yes, Shanna, exactly!

  2. I am thinking about going to Seattle for my next move! Awesome place with awesome, relaxed people. Glad to see you are blogging again!

    1. I was only there for a few days, but I liked what I saw! Thanks for reading along here :-)

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