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The Wonder of Wandering: For us, it’s all about the Joy of Discovery

The Wonder of Wandering. If those four words seem familiar, it’s hopefully because you enjoy our blog and recognize our name when a new posting lands in your inbox. However, for us it’s more than just the name of our blog - it’s truly how we’ve been traveling and living as of late. Six weeks ago, we began a three-month journey in Europe. The first month we spent in Portugal, this month we are in Spain, and next, we will journey on to France. We have tried to stay open and curious as we roam about and that really paid off last week when we happened upon a little beach town on the outskirts of Malaga called Pedregalejo.

Carla and I enjoy our morning walk, and in Malaga that has been mostly along the beach promenade. We tend to walk for 3-5 miles, depending on the day and how we’re feeling. On this day, we walked a little farther than usual, made a couple of extra turns, and we happened upon a very nice surprise. We bumped into the most charming little beach town that immediately filled us with delight. We found Pedregalejo.

Pedregalejo may not show up in every Malaga travel brochure, and travel agents aren’t putting it at the top of their client’s “must see’ list, but that’s just perfect for the folks who live there. It happens to be one of the oldest and most traditional fishing districts in the city. There is a beautiful promenade along the beach with playgrounds and a series of protected scalloped swimming bays, and there are a string of cafes, restaurants, and bars, each with an open fire on the beach where they cook their fish to order. Even on a Saturday, it didn’t feel overcrowded or loud. It just felt fun and lively, with people pushing strollers and saying hello to neighbors. It was comfortable and laidback and felt very welcoming.

For as much as we enjoyed seeing Pedregalejo, what we appreciated, even more, was that our wandering did indeed lead to a wonderful discovery! I have shared this before, but when Carla and I travel, we tend towards slow travel. We like to take our time and truly “live into” the places we are visiting. Yes, we love seeing amazing sites - architectural structures, ruins, and museums - but to us, the equally amazing site is the town and its people . . . just being amidst the people and their culture as we walk and explore the streets. And that’s what happened to us when we stumbled upon Pedregalejo.

Most of us tend to view life through the same lens no matter what we’re doing. We are comfortable looking at the world in a certain way and we transpose that view (or lens) onto most everything we do, think, or feel. And this is quite normal. Occasionally, however, we encounter a situation that requires that we switch to a different (and more appropriate) lens, much like a photographer would do. And that is the beauty of travel, the beauty of wandering. It provides us with an expanded bag of lenses, so to speak. We are forced out of our routines and well-practiced habits, and this disruption makes it easier to try on a new perspective (lens), realizing that our habitual lens may not be what’s needed in every situation.

Traveling both expands and enhances our perspective; it breaks up our routines and provides us with the opportunity to view our life and circumstances differently. Carla and I are constantly encountering an array of people, places, and situations on this trip. It’s truly incredible what we have seen and experienced, and there is so much more yet to come. But, with all that, we have come to realize and understand that our true journey and our real work is inward and it’s about finding the best perspective to meet the moment. Traveling requires a full bag of lenses.

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