As a New Yorker I grew up in what is ostensibly a concrete jungle. Skyscrapers and towers dominate the skyline. At night, New York truly glows and it is a thing of beauty. I find it beautiful and have tried to instill that love into my son’s heart. Now, while a die-hard New Yorker, I also love the countryside, the trails and paths deep into the woods. I’d like to think we can have it all. Partly for that reason, I love travel. Wherever I go, I try to explore all facets of our landscape and the local world. In that vein, I try to instill that desire into my son’s heart as well.
Whenever we go on trips, I ask him to look around and take it all in. After our trips I go over a few keys photos with him so that the locales and scenery truly stay with him. It is amazing to see what it is that he remembers. For Berlin, he remembers the dome. Or as most refer to it, the Reichstag Building. He remembers going up to the top and looking down on the snow-covered lawn. It looked just like a scene out of a fairy tale. That beauty must be ingrained into his little brain circuits. Or so I hope.
I want him to appreciate the beauty of this earth. The concrete jungle and the open plains. He got to experience both recently in our Hong Kong trip which I hope further shapes his love of travel and of the world.
While we were hiking a gloriously beautiful path up a peak and back down to the water, he got to see it all. From the peak we could see the man-made buildings and the surrounding imposing water. And when we made it down to the beach, sadly he also saw how much garbage we have in this world. He asked why there was so much garbage in our waters and coming onto shores. It was a good lesson that no book could really bring home.
But I did also bring up the fact to him that a recent study found that if you want to be happier in life you should go for a hike. I suppose that is something akin to that whole work life balance thing people talk about these days. Want to be happier at work, go hiking. Or go dance. Your call.
This world has so much to offer and I won’t rest in showing it to him.