Many of us live highly insulated daily lives - we go from home to school or work and back again in a boringly endless cycle.
At birth, none of us had the luxury of choosing who we are or where we live. We were born by chance into a specific set of circumstances and until we become mature and smart enough to make decisions regarding changing those circumstances, the cycle continues.
When the appropriate time comes, travel can be one of life's activities that breaks us free from our daily cycles. It allows us to experience beyond our safety zone - to see others in the comfort or chaos of their back yard, and in the process, can help bring down barriers between people. Travel enables us to answer the who, what, why, how, where and when questions we have. How do others live? What are the cultural factors that cause differences in thinking? Then, again, it may be just as simple an equation as, "I need to veg for a week in Barbados!"
I've worked in travel and tourism for well over 30 years and these are photos of attractions and sights in cities and countries I've visited throughout the US and around the world. During all of my travels, however, I've been mindful of where I was (and where I wasn't), respecting the laws and traditions in the place I was visiting.
My photos are posted here in the hope that when appropriate in your life, at least one of them gives you the impetus to travel outside your safe zone. And remember - if you do choose to travel, whether inside or outside the US - you'll be playing in someone else's personal space, and subject to their rules, so respect that. Freedom to travel is a wonderful thing until you've lost it in a foreign prison.
This colorful building is on the island of Murano, a short boat ride from Venice. Murano is known for the many glass factories there producing incredibly patterned Venetian glass.