We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
— “Little Gidding”, by T.S. Eliot
The holiday season is drawing to a close, and for many of us, that means going back to familiar routines of school and work and life in general. I have always enjoyed the break the Christmas season brings, and the chance to catch up to friends and family, some of which I haven’t seen since the year previous. This year also brought the occasion to travel, and so I went to California for a week. I had an absolutely amazing time; I spent New Year’s Eve wandering through the redwoods and walking along the beach with a wonderful girl — it was the stuff memories are made of. But I discovered something more. As I visited the places, and conversed with the locals, I came to understand something of the differences between the two places — California and home. Things that I had rarely questioned were questioned, and I wondered the logic of some of the things they took for granted.
As I flew home, I came to realize a reason why those who are well travelled can offer more than great pictures and crazy stories. Travel, and the places and people that the traveller is brought into contact with, allows him to develop a broader view of the world; it allows him to return to where he started and with the new understanding, he sees what he started with and it has changed, because he has, not because it has. Truly, he has returned to where he began, and only then really seen his world for the first time.