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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Anywhere is worth traveling to

"You can get as much out of a trip to Western Kansas as Laos. If you try."

This statement came from a list of "44 little things about travel" from Robert Reid, the New York-based U.S. travel editor of Lonely Planet. (It's posted on his blog

I did not expect to come across this when I was just now perusing this post, but I am glad I did. I had a lot of topics in mind that I wanted to write about today, but when I read this statement, I immediately knew this was for me.

This statement defines my travels probably more than any I've seen. I've never been to Western Kansas or Laos. But I'd like to think that if/when I visit either place that I could get a great deal of enjoyment out of the two locales. The research that can be done online before and during a trip certainly makes traveling to obscure locales more enjoyable. But just stumbling upon something can be just as fun.

I sometimes hear friends who travel for work complain about having to travel to a city not as glamorous as Los Angeles or New York. But I can think of many worse things in this world than to have to travel to Tampa, Fla., or even Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Small towns have unique restaurants, shops and their own history to view. I recall an overnight visit a few years back to Corinth, Miss., about an hour and a half southeast of Memphis. Corinth isn't known for much other than its Civil War-related sites.

But my wife and I had a great time walking the quaint downtown with its local shops and eateries. The next morning as we checked out of our bed and breakfast, it was snowing. We enjoyed a driving tour of Corinth's many historic homes as they were covered in white.

I certainly understand the trepidation in driving through a town and not wanting to stop in at just any random spot for lunch. But that can be one of the true great joys of travel. I can count many more great random dining experiences on travels than I can bad ones.

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