travel

A look at-The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

the secret life of walter mitty

[Photo of photographer Sean O’Connell from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty]

“To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed.”

On Monday, my girlfriend and I celebrated our two-year anniversary together and went to the movies to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Here’s a link to the trailer if you haven’t already seen or heard of it. Also, here’s a link to download the free audiobook.

Basically, it’s about an average guy who works at LIFE Magazine and works with the photographers and maintaining the negative reels. He is interested in dating a new girl at the office but is too nervous to talk to her so he creates an account on eHarmony and ends up realizing that he really hasn’t done or seen anything “noteworthy” in his life. He’s always daydreaming about doing insane things like jumping through the window of a burning building or climbing Mt. Everest but he never does them. Then, one day, he decides to do something different and listen to the girl at the office who he’s interested in and he goes after one of the photographers in Greenland to find a missing negative.

The reason I wanted to share this movie on my blog is because I think the motto for the magazine(above) and the whole concept of the movie is galvanizing and makes you want to jump out of a helicopter or climb Mt. Everest or do something crazy and adventurous. The coolest part is that his life changes after a spontaneous decision to pursue one of the LIFE photographers in Greenland. He’s an average guy who buys a one-way plane ticket impromptu and just goes. The only thing he brings with him is a briefcase.

I’ve have said this before but I think we sometimes feel stressed out when thinking about how much planning should go into a trip such as one to Greenland and we let that hold us back from traveling or even doing adventurous things. Even though it is a movie and in movies, everything goes as “planned,” I feel more inspired to leave my comfort zone and do more things spontaneously because then I have no idea how the adventure will unfold and that excites me!

Whether you’ve thought about taking an adventure or not, I think you should go see Walter Mitty because it’s a great movie and maybe it will motivate you to do something you never thought you’d do. I want to repeat this quote one more time because I think it fits as one of the many answers to the question “What is the purpose of life?”

“To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed.”

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Forgetting to explore the beautiful corral already around you

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Tomorrow will be two weeks since I blindfolded my girlfriend and brought her to the Sea Life Aquarium at Arizona Mills mall. A week before that I didn’t even know we had an aquarium here in Arizona. I found out about it on Tripadvisor while researching fun activities to do in Arizona.

I feel like this is normal. It’s normal for us locals to not know the touristic places of our home town or home city because we’re so set on the idea of “visiting the Eiffel Tower,” “eating pizza in Italy,” “snorkeling in Hawaii,” or “walking the streets of New York.” We never put on our tourist shoes or to explore our native places. We’re too obsessed with the idea of getting away. Going somewhere else. Somewhere that is as far away as possible.

I used to be the same way. I thought “Gosh, I REALLY want to visit Spain and Italy and backpack through Europe” and I did. But I have yet to visit the East Coast. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? I have traveled to a place over 5,000 miles away yet I’ve never traveled to one of the most popular places in my home country: New York City.

I never thought twice about this until I was talking to my friend Lenon one day while eating lunch and he asked me, “What is there to do in your home city? What should I do when I go visit there?” 

As a member of the Phoenix community for over 19 years, I couldn’t think of anything to tell him besides, “You should climb Camelback Mountain or hike the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.” I honestly couldn’t think of anything else that might be interesting to a college student from another country. That’s when the epiphany hit me and I thought to myself, “Wow. I don’t even know what I would visit in Phoenix if I were a tourist. That’s because I don’t even know Phoenix, or even Arizona, myself and I’ve lived here my whole life!” After that light bulb lit up in my head, I made it a goal to explore my home town more during the summer and doing the school year. And that’s exactly what I’ve started to do. The first place was the aquarium and the next places on my list include Havasupai Falls, Cathedral Rock, and many others.

I chose to share this story with you to make you stop and think: How well do I know the ins and outs of my hometown? What would I recommend to tourists looking for things to do?

Feel free to share your thoughts below and any places you recommend visiting in your hometown! 🙂