When I was a twelve I delivered newspapers at 6 a.m to my neighbors. I hated that job. It required that I get up at five in the morning to fold inky newspapers, wrap them in rubber bands, encase them in plastic, load them into a large canvas bin strapped to my handlebars, and head out into the cold to toss them one by one onto customer's driveways.
But there were days when I would finish my paper route and I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to get ready for school. On those mornings, I liked to ride my bike down new streets just to see what was out there. It was the only joy felt from the route, the freedom to explore what's new around the bend.
I still have dreams as an adult about those early mornings, and in my dreams I'm riding my bike through the mist down new streets and past parks and buildings I've never seen before.
It was Einstein who said "I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious." I'm no Einstein but that part about being curious has always resonated with me. It's why I'm never bored. There is always something to see or do. Somewhere new to go. And here's an idea: you don't always need to do it with a companion.
I've learned how fun it is being my own best friend. When I'm alone in a new place, my internal dialogue sounds a lot like this: "Do you want to walk down that street? Would you like to have coffee in that shop? What do you think that garden looks like? Aw, look at that cute dog! Wow, how cool is that building!" Etc. , What a lush, satisfying feeling it is exploring the world with yourself as a most pleasant companion.
If you've ever played with a three year old, you know that seeing the world with wonder is what they do best. Children delight in the simplest things. They know the world is a playground filled with enchanting surprises each day. New buds on the trees in spring. Crisp fall leaves on the ground in autumn. A brightly colored butterfly that floats by.
Have you tried it? Being passionately curious? Exploring alone with childlike eyes? It's magical. Give it a go, won't you? You'll be delighted by what you discover not just in the world, but about yourself too.