“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

Ah, the ever-elusive voyage of discovery! Now, most folks would have you believe it’s all about stamping your passport with as many exotic locales as possible. “Look at me,” they say, proudly showing off selfies with the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China lurking somewhere in the background, a testament to their well-traveled sophistication.

But let’s be real, the most profound journey doesn’t require you to pack a suitcase, navigate the baffling world of airline points, or even learn how to ask where the bathroom is in seventeen different languages.

No, the real adventure, the kind that flips your world upside down and inside out, is all about swapping out your dusty old eyeballs for a sparkly new pair. And no, I’m not talking about some black market organ trade (although, wouldn’t that make for a riveting dinner party story?). I’m referring to the art of seeing the familiar with fresh, wonder-filled eyes.

Imagine waking up one day and deciding that the route to your mundane job is going to be the stage for your next grand expedition. You notice the way the morning light plays hide and seek with the leaves, casting a kaleidoscope of shadows on the sidewalk. You start to see the grumpy old man at the bus stop as a wise sage, guarding the secrets of the universe, rather than a potential candidate for your next “Most Likely to Yell at Clouds” award.

Suddenly, your neighbor’s obsessive gardening isn’t just a quirky hobby; it’s a masterclass in patience and dedication to beauty. The local coffee shop, a place you’ve dashed in and out of a thousand times without a second thought, transforms into an exotic bazaar, filled with the rich aromas of coffee beans from far-off lands and the gentle hum of life stories being exchanged over frothy cappuccinos.

This is the kind of journey where you don’t need a map because you’re not aiming to end up anywhere new. Instead, you’re learning to dance in the spaces in-between, to find magic in the mundane, and to laugh at the absurdity of it all. It’s a trip where getting lost means you’re doing something right, and the only souvenir worth bringing back is a heart a little more open and a mind buzzing with the electricity of rediscovered wonder.

So, here’s to trading in our old, weary ways of seeing for a pair of those metaphorical, shiny new peepers. To embracing the delightful chaos of the everyday and finding the kind of joy that doesn’t depend on your geographical coordinates. After all, why chase after new landscapes when you can have the time of your life getting delightfully lost in your own backyard?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a pressing engagement with the secret life of my refrigerator. Who knew such a frosty character could lead such a rich, inner life?

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.