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I love to travel. I've been to a lot of different places around the world. But, there's still so many other countries and locales that are on my list. The thrill of being in a new place, experiencing new environs, people, customs, cultures, foods, and drinks, always create wonderful sensations and memories for me.

It really doesn't matter whether I'm taking a jet to give a speech in a city far from home, or driving a short distance to a place I've never been or a spot I love to return to. I am always amazed at how much I love to witness different architecture, people, signs, and nature's beauty. Sometimes it takes awhile to recognize how special somethings - ones that we see so often we barely pay attention to - actually are.

About a year ago, while driving on Interstate 476 in my local area, I looked up at a sign I've seen thousands of times before, yet never really appreciated. It read Philadelphia (with an arrow pointing to the left) and Valley Forge (with an arrow pointing to the right). Both destinations are no more that 15-20 minutes away once the driver exits off 476 and onto Interstate 76. Yet, to me they we just places near my home. This time I thought, "Geez, people come from all over the world to visit Philadelphia (after all...it is where the United States was born) and Valley Forge (where Washington rallied his troops so gallantly and helped to turn the tide during the Revolutionary War)." It was a bit of a travel epiphany. At that moment I could hear people sitting in their car saying..."Wow, we're close now!" Perhaps a couple from another country or from another state. Or...their kids yelling out from the back seat.

There's a hidden beauty in where we live. Sometimes...an under appreciated one. Although, I think you'd get an argument from my friends about me on that. Almost all of them think that I must be employed by the city because I know Philadelphia (and its surrounding area) so well and love it so much, enjoy taking people for tours around the town, and one of my grandfather's legacies is that he build its most famous fountain.

So, the next time you're thinking about heading out to some distant land, perhaps you should pull out a map of your own locale. I bet there's some pretty neat places you haven't seen right in your "own back yard" that people travel for hours just to get a peek at. It doesn't matter where you reside - someone wants to see it! Of course, the next time you're in Philly...there's oh...about "a million places" I think I could recommend! Hmm... where would I start? Which do you want to see first - Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, or City Hall?!
Scott Grande
9/25/2012 08:10:36 pm

Hey Prof! Funny you mention this. I have said for years how we take living in the birthplace of our Nation for granted. So many times, I have been walking down around Independence Hall and thought "wish all these tourists would get out of my way" not really thinking that they may have travelled great distances to get here and I can't remember the last time I was inside. Probably a school field trip many moons ago.

Hope you are well!

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Dan Goldberg
9/25/2012 11:20:12 pm

Scott,

Always great to hear from you! And yes...it is amazing how we sometimes take things for granted. No matter where we live, there's always somebody from somewhere else, who wants to see what it's like.

Philadelphia is, obviously, special to you and I (and so many other people all over the world). Guess we're fortunate to live here!

And...next time you're at Independence Hall - take a walk inside!

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