Traveling brings out the adventurer in us. Going somewhere new encourages us to get out and explore, try new things and make new discoveries. That’s what makes travel so great… it opens our eyes and allows us to create memories we’ll never forget. But why don’t we live that way when we’re back home? It’s easy to get settled into our daily lives and live in a routine–eating at the same restaurants, going for a run and taking the same route, meeting friends for happy hour at the same spot every week. I know that I often take my hometown for granted and don’t venture out enough to places I’ve never been. Sometimes I need a little reminder to live my own blog’s slogan and “make everyday a holiday,” even when I’m not traveling. I’m going to be home for the next few weeks, so to get myself out of my mundane routine, I decided to launch this series to explore my city, and maybe encourage you to get out and explore yours as well.
A few years ago, I came across this gorgeous photo of a giant swing overlooking downtown Knoxville and the Tennessee river. I made a note of the location and had always wanted to go check it out, but I just never got around to it… until the other day. It was the first thing that came to mind when I thought about “exploring my city.” I’m a sucker for a beautiful view, so I talked my best friend Natalie of Seeded in the South and my photographer friend Ali into making the hike one evening just before sunset. I threw a blanket, a bottle of champagne and some cups in my bag and met them at a park on the south side of town where we would access the trail that leads to the outlook point. We hiked up a hilly gravel trail and finally came upon the outlook, only to find that the SWING WAS GONE. The ropes were still hanging off the tree, so it looked like someone had cut it down. We were bummed, but we still had an incredible view and a bottle of Veuve which we weren’t going to let go to waste, so we sat down to take it all in. The view really was stunning and made up for our early disappointment.
We enjoyed our bubbly and the view, and after the sun set, we gathered our things and started to hike back to our cars. Just as we started back, the sky opened up and started pouring rain. We had no umbrellas and were a ways from the parking lot, so obviously we got drenched. So maybe things didn’t go exactly as I’d planned – no swing and a random rain shower, but it just added to the adventure and we laughed about it. Still, we got out of our routines and did something new. Seeing downtown Knoxville from a new point of view made me appreciate my city a little bit more.