People that know me know that I love to travel. Seeing different places, cultures – the history and stories that are trapped inside the architecture of buildings. Witnessing how different people live. The past two years I have traveled the Baltic Sea to Russia, The Mediterranean to Egypt and Israel and have been in awe over images I have seen. Trying to wrap my brain around dates of ancient cities buried beneath the soil because our country is so relatively new that I can’t comprehend such things. (I’ve always thought of history as traveling to Boston or Philadelphia.)
Well I owe the U.S. an apology because even if we don’t have the same amount of years, there is still plenty of beauty to be found across our country that God has supplied through nature. I think back to my travels down the Appalachians to Ashville, the beauty of Mackinac Island in Michigan and family trips as a child to Pikes Peak in Colorado. And yes, we even have history in the streets of New York as you look at old buildings and think back to how things were at the turn of the past century.
This weekend, I thought of history as I walked through Ocean Grove and Asbury Park on the Jersey shore. I’ve always been a snob about the Jersey Shore (thinking it is the awful show that MTV has given us.) But the Grove offers rows of Victorian homes and the boardwalk has its own history of the numerous feet that have trod those boards – and once again, people are working to bring it back to life in Asbury. (The old carousel building is still wonderful to look at and I personally love that a theatre company is using it as a place to present live theatre where children once rode round and round on colorful carousel horses.)
So it’s time I give America another try and do more travels within our own country. Yes, I traveled it back in my early twenties while on tour for a show - but I obviously didn't retain as much from that period as I should have. New Orleans next summer (where I’ve never been) and perhaps go to more places in the west as well. One shouldn’t write off their own backyard so quickly – and Jersey: please remind people that we do offer some nice spots in our state that having nothing to do with the stereotypes that are shown on television.