When I was growing up, our summer vacations were usually opportunities to visit family members who had moved away from Wichita. We knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore when the landscape suddenly became three dimensional. When we visited an uncle in Colorado, my parents would wake my brother and me up as soon as they spotted mountain peaks in the distance. When we traveled to Missouri, the centrifugal force created by the winding roads would rock us awake. These contrasts seemed so exotic that we would get caught up in discovering details that seemed so much more interesting than things back home.
I remember seeing real estate advertisements that taunted us with the idea that if we actually lived there, we’d be living the good life without having to go anywhere but out our own front door. A life lived in a land of perpetual vacation sounds great to kids, but adults realize that the magic carpet would wear thin under the ceaseless traipsing of guests through their living room.