Right now, many of us are feeling the "travel bug." Some of us are taking those trips, despite the extra steps involved in getting there during, ya know, a global pandemic. Even though things are beginning to normalize, there are still precautions in place.

Some of us either don't wanna risk it or we just can't afford it right now. But, that doesn't mean we can't still get out of the house and take a SAFE mini-vacation here in East Texas.

At least four times a year, I have a sudden urge to take a road trip. Sometimes it is to somewhere particular, but other times I just want to take off and make stops in little towns along the way.

There's something particularly charming about visiting a new place, however simple, and taking in the local sights. Ya know, livin' like a local for a bit. However, sometimes we take the towns we live in for granted. We're so familiar with them we don't always realize the charm they have for, say, road trippers from OTHER towns passing through.

Yesterday, I grabbed a cup of coffee at a regular old Starbucks. I took my coffee to go and found the little park area nearby and watched the sun go down. As the sun started going down, I felt a cooler breeze brush my face and hair, somehow I felt like I was somewhere else. I had that excited feeling you get when you're in a new place experiencing new things. Almost magically, I looked around and saw things with new eyes. It was lovely.

It occurred to me that many of us take the places we live for granted. Somehow the things to do in "our" towns and the places to dine in "our" towns doesn't always seem to hold the same allure and the exact same kinds of places in other towns. Now, some of that is just human nature, sure. Also, I'm not suggesting we stop taking road trips, for sure.

Yet, why not give it a try? Living in East Texas provides us with a bit more space than our unfortunate big-city dwelling neighbors. But for our sanity, I think it's important to do our best to find ways to feel like we're "getting away."

The next time you're looking around for things to do, try to see where you live with fresh eyes. I bet even though you live where you live, you've not done all there is to be done or dined in every restaurant. Do something different. Make different choices. It will refresh you--and we can all use more of that right now.

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