Updated: Feb 28
In February 2020, I left my Virginia home for a few weeks of travel for some business in Belize, celebration of my sister’s birthday in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, followed by a week of skiing in one of my favorite ski town towns of Sun Valley, Idaho. When I returned home on March 7, little did I know that the world was about to change, and the days of traveling would be memories for some undetermined time.
The remainder of my 2020 plans for both international and domestic travel now all hung in suspense. Although staying close to home revealed opportunities to explore new local adventures, that sense of wandering was still calling out to me.
Whether an hour or many more away, I have always enjoyed getting on the road to somewhere and now the travel limitations imposed a sense of needing to explore even more. While traveling to the various states as part of my Appalachian Trail experience, I realized that the greatest surprises and memories during my 15-year journey were in the various small-town spaces that I passed through or stopped in for a few days to gather in the miles.
To make up for my recent loss in travel, I ventured out during the year with my mctravelor on local driving trips to the Pennsylvania Poconos, the Delaware beaches, and the North Carolina mountains. The driving explorations provided a much-needed rescue from the stay at home orders that had been in place. Sometimes the silent and visual moments from the glass separation of the outside world in my car can become the best thinking and reflection time via a mobile meditation.
After making a few stops in random towns during these driving road trips, I decided to be more intentional in 2021 and to incorporate more small-town visits throughout the year. So, the challenge began as the traveling task would require me to collect photos of the local town signs, the main street area, identify interesting artifacts or cuisines, and to journal the experience. In 2021, Wandering Wanda began the small-town journeys throughout the USA and opened the car door for some new adventures.