The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new sights, but in having new eyes

Only a campervanner can understand the importance of the sliding door view. The first image that greets you when you open your sliding door from the comfort of your bed in the morning. Thankful that you’re not waking up on the eleventh floor of a hotel room with the sound of sirens and traffic humming eleven levels below. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find that elusive spot and while searching for that view we can sometimes miss other more interesting things surrounding us.

If you’re struggling to find a new camping spot or somewhere new to visit, take a step back, sometimes going back to a familiar place doesn’t have to be dull or boring. While on a trip to Serbia, a place I have visited many times but not in the last five years. I was sitting outside a cafe in the main square of a town called Uzice, enjoying a glass of red wine in the late afternoon winter sun while reading a travel book. A quote caught my attention:
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes. ...
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes. …

This immediately struck a cord with me, I realised I was seeing the town of my families history in new eyes. I had wizened many years in the last five and my new inquisitive eyes saw much more than they had on previous trips. This quote summoned up my trip exceptionally well.

My new eyes looked past the graffitied walls, the crumbling buildings, the poor new developments that they had always seen. I saw more of the intense and unbreakable relationships formed in a land that had experienced extreme hardship. The closeness of families and the strength of the love displayed, the generosity of those with so little, the local freedoms of living in an society far less regulated than what we experience in the UK.

It made me reflect on some of the places I’d considered visiting in my camper van but dismissed due to having exhausted these places in my childhood. I realised these places may offer a whole new experience. A chance to ponder my past experiences of the place while contemplating whether the changes I would see were for the better or not.

I guess my message here is simple, even if you can’t venture far due to time or money constraints, there are adventures and meaningful experiences to be had wherever you go. Even if that place is a much visited local destination, venture there with new eyes, look beyond the view from the sliding door, who knows what you’ll see.

By Ana – The Campervana


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