When I was a teenager, I hung a Marcel Proust quote above my bed…
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
And so for this week’s challenge, I am going to try to let these words inspire me.
When I travel, I seek out off-the-beaten-path adventures that get me out into nature and help me slow down the pace of regular life...
I’m taking this same “back to nature” approach to try and discover a hidden gem in my home town.
And I wanted to try something that is common in other cities, so that no matter where you live, you might be able to recreate this “tourist in your hometown” experience.
There are many, many apple orchards near Louisville, but sadly I have only ever visited one—the same one I went to with my first grade class, over 30 years ago.
And while tradition and nostalgia feel wonderful, newness and discovery help my senses awaken.
Knowing there are other orchards that allow you to pick your own apples made me curious about what other experiences were out there waiting for us.
We set out with a couple of friends and their golden retriever well before dawn. We wanted to make it to the orchard just as the sun was coming up...
Surprise, surprise we were the only people in the orchard that early, so we got to use all the fun apple pickers!
The whole place had a wild, forgotten charm to it that took me by surprise and made me feel really present.
It felt, in equal parts, like a childhood memory and like being in another country.
We were exactly 22 minutes from our house.
I believe that traveling is so impactful, in part because of being exposed to all the new and different places and people who fill up our earth.
I also believe that travel feels so special because we slow down, we plan intentionally, and we work to really experience a place and time.
Going to this hidden orchard had all the same feelings as true travel.
After the apple picking adventure, our friends hosted us for a rambling brunch that lasted for three hours.
We ate buttery biscuits, roasted tomatoes, and figs.
We sipped mimosas…
…and of course, ended the gathering with pieces of homemade pie.
Thinking back, the memory is shrouded in a dreamlike quality, a little hazy, but utterly charming. I can’t help but smile.
And all of this for less than $20, and only about 20 minutes from our house.