Jekyll and Hyde

I’ve realized that part of my personality is eerily correlated with whether I’m traveling or not.

When I’m abroad, I’m an eager adventurer, an avid picture-taker, and a ready explorer. I enjoy people watching and finding cultural hot spots. I’ll spend hours on the internet or skimming brochures and talk to multiple people to try to find fun new things to do.

At home… well, I’m just boring. I stay in “my area”, the places I know and have been; the camera stays in my drawer.

I hadn’t really realized this alter-ego situation in the past, but had several excuses ready when I started this self-discovery process through the last few weeks.

Excuse #1: “I’m busy here, I don’t have time to explore!”
I have determined that this has no effect on the adventure-o-meter. I’ve had jobs and classes in other countries, and managed to head out every day afterwards, always rushing to some new spot I wanted to see. On the flip side, I’ve had nothing to do these past few weeks and still found myself settling into a rather routine life.

Excuse #2: “Cleveland isn’t as cool as (insert country/city that I love).”
Now, I’m not denying this statement. However, I have realized that I do not have the right to agree with it yet, either. I simply haven’t spent any time exploring Cleveland. I had several friends from out of town come visit recently, and my lack of Cleveland knowledge slapped me in the face. My knowledge was pretty contained to knowing that our river caught on fire and there were a bunch of random guitars around the city streets.

In an effort to change this trend, I’ve been spending a bit more time exploring the Cleveland area. I went out on the lake and visited the new Casino in the historic Higbee building, walked down E 4th and ate on W 9th (and would highly recommend Mallorca’s for great, Spanish-inspired food and home-made sangria!), meandered through Voinovich Park and checked out the Rock and Roll hall of fame. I hiked and biked Cliff’s Ledges and the Metroparks. Through this attempt at discovering Cleveland, though, I have only realized how much more there is to see! So if any of you Clevelanders have suggestions for me, please feel free to send them my way! đŸ™‚

My other commitment is to do my best to NOT fall into this lackluster rut when I move to Indonesia – I want it to remain an adventure in my mind, a place to discover – not a place where I simply teach, work out, grade papers, eat dinner, and go to sleep.

On that note – 10 days until I move! Packing has commenced; one suitcase is down (49.6 pounds.. take that airlines) and about a half of one is left to go!

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