Our prompt today of public transportation took me back in time to the very first kind I ever experienced. Riding on a school bus was a way to travel to school, of course, but it was also a way to experience travel in the form of a field trip. This was when you got to leave school with incredibly brave teachers who decided to take on the awesome responsibility of escorting a large group of little kids through various public spaces. There are many bits about grade school itself that have escaped my memory, but I remember almost every field trip. It was so much fun to travel away from the classroom and experience new places. I’ve never really enjoyed a classroom setting and always got a bit fidgety most of the time. The explorer in me didn’t like sitting still that long and the rebel in me didn’t like being told what to do next. So, a field trip was a real gift where I could wander, observe and learn in my own unique way. We’d travel to museums and these were always my favorite. It was so much fun to learn about different cultures and stories from the past. Each time I see a school bus today, it takes me back to those memories.
What strikes me today is that all of those field trips from my youth took place in the same city I was living in. So many times, Philippe and I chat about all of the places we’d like to go next, but I have to stop and ask myself if we’ve truly explored our own city fully. I’ve taken him to see many of the places I enjoy, but there are still places that I haven’t been to since I was a kid. There’s a term called “staycation” that was apparently coined in 2005 by a Canadian comedian. This refers to enjoying a vacation while only doing things that can be done within a close driving distance from your own home, without the need for a hotel and overnight stay. Since Philippe and I prefer to be at home most all of the time, it’s got me thinking that we should start to plan a few field trips in the future. Something unusual and unique to mix things up a bit. As we dream of exotic locations, it’s actually quite possible to experience something entirely new by simply taking a different route to work or setting out on a short road trip. A chance to see things that are normally skipped over in that attempt to see something one thinks must certainly be much more grand.
Though I may have been fidgety when trapped in a classroom setting, in truth, I’m rather easily amused. It really doesn’t take very much to ignite my enthusiasm or imagination. I just love seeing things that are new to me in the moment and getting to enjoy something that’s just a bit different than the usual fare. As artists, I think it’s important to walk a different path whenever possible. There are amazing things to discover around every corner. As I get older, I find myself falling into various bits of routine. I no longer have teachers taking me on field trips, so it’s up to me to create those moments. Simple little journeys that don’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of effort. Just a willingness to pause that comfortable routine for a moment and try something a bit new. As a child, doing so would always require a permission slip. But I realize now, that as an adult, I still need one. I need to stop and give myself permission to do something that’s not simply the next thing on the to-do list. Something fun and random that shakes life up a bit and makes each little moment even more special, like those remarkable times I enjoyed during my school bus days.
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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!