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Bloghuh? 7

Don't know the drill? Click here and you will.

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He’s my final befuddler of the series.

Why do people isolate themselves?

When I lived in New Orleans, I knew people who hadn’t left the French Quarter for over 4 years. For those of you not familiar, the Quarter spans a relatively small 78 (13x6) square-block area. These are not big (ie cross-town in Manhattan) blocks. There are (well, were) plenty of lovely neighborhoods nearby: the Garden District, City Park, the Lakefront. "I have everything I need, right here in the Quarter," my friend would say. I can see staying in your own area, especially for a couple of weeks at a time .. but to not leave for over 4 years?

People were like that in New York as well. “I never go above 14th Street,” friends would boast (or 23rd, or 42nd, or pick your own number based on work/home/friends). So many amazing neighborhoods with so much to see and do, and yet people won’t leave their hood.

It's not just about cities and neighborhoods. I'm amazed by the fact that so many people in the US have never been to New York City. Or Los Angeles. Or to the Grand Canyon.

I'm shocked that in 2005, only 21% of Americans had passports. That was a record high.

As most of you know, we now live in Central London. We hung out in Soho for the first few months and started getting bored. Same crowds, same music, same blah blah. “Who wants to come to Vauxhall with us?’ we'd ask. So many were quick to say “Oh no, that’s south of the river” or “Gosh, I’ve never been there, what’s it like?” These are people who call themselves Londoners and have lived here for most of their lives. I understand there’s a certain security in going to same place over and over … you know what to expect, and you know who you’ll see. It becomes your local. And, sure, sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

But Norm and Cliff were really kind of sad, weren’t they?

I'm sure people feel safe in what they know, and it’s hard leave our comfort zones. But I get antsy. Maybe I just have terminal wanderlust, or geographical ADD, or just easily submit to my neurotic nagging whims of “I’m probably missing something somewhere else.”

Don’t get me wrong, I can happily stay inside my flat for a couple of days. I love the security of knowing my surroundings. There are eateries I could frequent once a week for months to come and be perfectly content. I love hanging out with the usual suspects at the usual places. But there’s so much more.

I like getting on a bus or a train and finding a new neighborhood. I’ve enjoyed finding Fowey and Frome. I’m eager to get to Lake country, to wander through western Scotland, and to see more of the Cornwall coast. And while I don’t particularly want to live in Elephant & Castle, there’s at least interesting restaurant there.

Exploring is good, and if nothing else, it gives you perspective on the places you're either a) bored of or b) so enamored with that you think you never need to leave.

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Special thanks to Blue Witchy for conjuring up this week of mystification. It’s been good to find some new bloggers … to wander out of my own cyber-neighborhood, as it were. I hope you new bobzyeruncle readers will stick around.

Read more about things that mystify other participating Bloghuh? bloggers this week:

Alley Kat
Blue Witch
bob's yer uncle
Changing Places
In the Aquarium
Kitchen Witch
La Que Sabe
London Daily Photo
Pewari's Prattle
Purple Pen
Quixotic Evil
Santiago Dreaming
Tabula Rasa
Tiger Feet
Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?