Greener Pastures

Come August, we will have lived in Perugia for seven years. This is liable to give me mental vertigo, all these days expanding and collapsing like accordion pleats in my memory. A trick of the light, and I am once again massive with child and complicated hopes boarding a one-way flight to Italy; the angle shifts, and my perspective accelerates through one baby, two visas, three homes, and the better part of a decade to where I sit today penciling summer destinations into our calendar. Time is often catalogued for me in terms of travel, and we’ve done so much of it in these seven years that my mind can’t quite grasp it all at once.

We realized on last week’s little excursion, though, that our view on travel could use some tweaking. We tend to think of travel as something grandiose and all-consuming, volumes of time propped between the bookends of journey. The farther we drive to get to a pasture, the greener it is, right? This is why we’ve spent Saturday after Saturday chafing against weekend chores and griping for want of air. This is why the idea of a staycation this Spring Break disappointed us. This is why, in seven years, we haven’t ever climbed the slopes of our own Mount Subasio.

Er, make that hadn’t.

Hiking Subasio - Victorious three

The forecast called for rain on Saturday, but we went anyway, the drive to explore our own backyard stronger than our desire to stay dry. And it was beautiful, all of it: the girls’ pride at making it up the mountainside by themselves, the clouds billowing like down comforters overhead, the wildflowers holding their own against the tide of grass and gravity, the towns laid out below us like stitching on a vast patchwork quilt. On the drive there, we’d listened to Imagine Dragons’ “On Top of the World.” Two hours later, I knew exactly what that felt like.

Hiking Subasio - Bethany on top of the world

Hiking Subasio - Assisi down below(That’s wee little Assisi in the center of the photo.)

Hiking Subasio - Sisters

Hiking Subasio - Hiker Natalie

Hiking Subasio - Wildflowers 2

Hiking Subasio - Hiker Sophie

I will never stop wanting travel on a grand scope—road trips and international flights and wildly new terrains underfoot. This weekend has convinced me though that we don’t need to keep holding our wanderlust at bay until schedules and finances align. We have a wealth of beauty close to home, perhaps even enough to fill the next seven years of Saturdays. The verdancy of far-off pastures may be up for debate, but I can say now with certainty that we’ve got a green worth experiencing right here.

Hiking subasio - Wildflowers 3

What’s your favorite “destination” in your neck of the woods? Or is there a place nearby you’ve been curious to explore? Where would you take me for a Saturday adventure if I came to visit? 

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  1. We lived in CT for TEN!!!! years before we ever made the four-hour drive to Maine! Now we take little jaunts all over New England quite frequently…but like you: I don’t understand what took us so long to explore our own backyard. 😛

  2. We do a little traveling around MN every summer. My favorite place was a little Inn called 7 Pines Lodge. We do Duluth a lot too. And Brainerd. There are 10,000 lakes to visit here after all.

    Your photos are beautiful, the landscape rivals the smiles on those beauties you have with you!

    • Ah, lakes are some of my favorite things in the world. I think I’d take a lake over the ocean given the chance. Maybe someday you can take me around to your favorites of the 10,000. ::fingers crossed::

  3. I so love coming here, Bethany. Your pictures are spectacular and your words entrancing. There are beauties and wonders to be discovered wherever we are. (well, maybe not Nevada?) So glad you’re discovering some home-grown varieties and sharing them with us.

    • Thank you so much, Diana! Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Lake Tahoe in Nevada? It’s on my dream travel list. One day!

      • Well, you got me there. YES, it’s on the border between the two states of CA and NV. And the area around Reno, which is about 45 minutes from Tahoe, is also lovely. So. . . I guess there are NO places on this planet without their own unique contribution to the beauty that is Earth.

        • Haha, even Nevada. 😀 I DID sometimes doubt there was any redeeming factor to the area where we briefly lived in Delaware, but I suppose that if you’re within a few hours of Assateague Island, you can’t complain.

  4. Ohhh, I understand exactly what you’re saying. 🙂 My longing to travel reached epic proportions this Autumn and I too have been learning to content myself with more local adventures. 🙂 Thankfully Australia seems to change wildly every few kilometers, so there’s always something new to see. Hopefully one day soon we’ll get to go farther afield, but for now, I’m looking forward to going to the beach for mud crab sandwiches. 🙂 That’s where I’d take you too. 🙂

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