Cultivate Serendipity While Traveling
While you’re traveling, whether it’s your home town, around the country, or internationally, see all the things you’ve dreamt about but be sure to open yourself up to the happy accidents of discovery. Leave yourself open to serendipity
This means getting out into the culture and letting it wash over you. Maybe stepping slightly beyond your comfort level; in a way, taking a chance. Your reward? You may just find a deposit of little gems that will remain with you your whole life.
These genuinely interesting places won’t be in the guidebooks or visited on tours. Somewhere you might find a pleasant garden, a little know park, a tucked away restaurant, a street that gives an instant feeling of place, or an attraction you can honestly call your own.
Will these self-discovered sights equal the Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, or the Roman Coliseum? I think they will. To be sure, you’ll always remember standing before the Pyramids of Egypt but I guarantee that you’ll never forget, as I did, the small market place in Esna, Egypt. Just a corner with a few shops and a fellow selling vegetables and spices, but the smell of those spices, the cinnamon, and the man riding past on a donkey, the dust, the whole moment of present lives echoing centuries past, has never slipped from my memory as “more important” sights have.
Perhaps it was just picking a road, any road, in central France and discovering Prehistoric Park, a wonderful series of lifelike scenes spread throughout the forest depicting the life of prehistoric people. Or coming across Oradour-sur-Glane in France near Limoges, left exactly as it was on June 10, 1944 when most of the population was murdered and the village burned.
Serendipity is a small hotel in Burford, England, and a pleasant late-afternoon walk in the countryside amidst grazing sheep. It’s a series of grottos in La Guaira, Venezuela, depicting with remarkable sculptures the Stations of the Cross. Each face of the colorful figures showed genuine emotion and attention to detail. A caring artist worked here in a city the guidebooks call a waste of time.
Travel without serendipity is unfinished. It’s missing the sense of letting go, opening up. It’s missing adventure. Yes, adventure, even on an unknown street, or in a park, or riding a boat across the Nile with common townsfolk.
Serendipity is the places we discover on our own that become the treasures of our lives.