Spontaneity is the best travel companion

By: Alexandria Riedinger

May 06 2010

Category: Travel & Adventure

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“When a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.”
– Paul Auster

I recently discovered something new about myself…when I travel, I constantly feel like I’m living inside a story. With each twist and turn of experiences, whether this way or that, I can soon leave all expectations and hindrances behind. It’s a story that can have as much imagination and spontaneity as I can conjure. I can write the pages and I can change them. Or I can sit back and let the fate of travel take me wherever it wants to lead me, showing me the best of the unknown I never knew existed.

This last week, my travels took me on an annual family camping/archery trip (yes, I’m an archer…it’s one of those things you would not guess by looking at me but I love it) up near Redding, California. Think close to Shasta and Lassen National Forest, which has some of California’s most beautiful country!

Well normally, my trips in the past have been fairly routine, drive up there, set up camp, eat, drink, shoot, eat and drink some more, then head home. But this year, as I’ve vowed to add more spontaneity and exploration into every travel I take be it a trip across the county or across the state, things were a lot different. On the ride up there with a friend, we stopped in Sacramento to explore the beautiful park behind our state’s Capitol building, which I hate to say, but I’ve never been to.

Meandering through the paths and gardens brought a subtle tranquility to an otherwise busy area filled with government workers hurrying about on their lunch breaks. Once we landed at the foot of the grandiose Capitol building, there was nothing to stop us from going in, so we did a quick tour and I have to say it was quite a congressional experience, topped off with intimidating metal detectors and dark suits everywhere.

A bit of travel spontaneity also led us upstate a bit further into Butte country out past Chico up Highway 70. Nestled in the quite back country roads were some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen, made picturesque with streams of sun, orchards, and dotted with charming one-horse towns. Some of my all time favorites are the places where dirt out spans the concrete.

After our camping adventures and archery shoot, which in itself could take up a whole post, we explored the local area of Anderson and came across a friendly couple who informed us so eloquently and in appropriate tongue of the Renaissance fair that was going on that weekend. See how much fun one can have when just letting the fate of travel lead you?? We caught the tail end of it, but it added an even better source of imagination for this travel story.

And from here on out, each travel, and each story I do unravel with my utmost creative imagination, I promise to learn one thing I did not know before about myself, be irresistibly spontaneous, and trust those travel gods I worship so dearly…

What’s the best travel story you’ve ever lived in? And did spontaneity take you there?

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