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Exploring Home -- Writer's Poke #167

Four pretty young women were riding their bicycle through Fox Ridge state park, and they stopped when they saw us staring at them.

"Hallo," one of them said in a heavy German accent. "Could you tell us please which the direction is to Charleston?" We pointed the way, and off they went.

Why would four German girls be riding their bikes through central Illinois? Since we had lived there all of our lives, it was hard to think of Coles County as an international tourist attraction. And yet, here were four girls that helped us see something old in a new way.

Because, although we had lived there all of our lives, we had never taken the time to bike around the entire countryside. Doing so would be silly, right?

Of course the last time I was in Italy, I saw American tourists who paid a fortune for the privilege of doing just that. And the Italian countryside was really no more extraordinary than Coles County. It was simply farther away from home.

What places near your home are worth exploring? How many have you never visited? Spend some time being being a tourist in your own community, and reflect on your experiences.

"Going overseas is a vacation. There is so much going on at home." -- Kerri Walsh


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