Travel is a Time for Learning: Photo Challenge #284

Julia walked up from the sea, exploring other parts of the city. She came upon an interesting neighborhood, with a cast of characters unlike anyone she had ever met. They moved with slow gestures, not in a hurry to complete their tasks and move on to something else, which was the story of her life.

Indeed, she had walked this far trying to see everything that she could in her time here. She wanted to get her money’s worth, and that meant moving and doing until she dropped tiredly into bed each night. She would need a vacation after her vacation!

But, here in these sun-dappled buildings, people took their time to meet and greet each other, not in a hurry to move along. Women hollered down at each other, inquiring about family members, as they crossed the many sky-high bridges that connected the buildings.

Julia walked among them, breathing in the pleasantness of people invested in the lives of others, something missing in her country. As a sentient being, Julia could feel the sense of community, and she wanted to take it home with her as a souvenir.

Instead of racing off to the next adventure, in homage to this amazing way of living, she walked into a cafe, ordered a good strong cuppa, and engaged in conversation with the locals. They listened to her stories of home for hours, so enthralled that people isolated themselves from their neighbors.

“How extraordinary,” they said. “But, what happens when you need each other and don’t know each other?” Julia had no answers for them, as these were questions she pondered, too.

But, while she could not bring the people home with her, she could bring back that sense of community. From the day she arrived back home, she had no qualms taking neighbors her home-made apple pie or a jar of her home-made jelly. She was pleasantly surprised how many of her neighbors were just waiting for someone else to make the first move.

Now, she knows some of her neighbors, but not all of them, of course. Some people prefer their isolation, having been stung before by unscrupulous neighbors, and she gave them their space. But, having someone looking out to see that you arrive home at the end of the day and who waters your flowers when you are away reminds her that traveling is a time of learning about ourselves and others, along with gawking and soaking up the sun.

Fictional story written for the Photo Challenge #284 from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Write a story or poem, using the photo given as prompt. The photo for this week is from Google Images. Fandango prompt is Cast. Ragtag prompt is Slow. Word of the Day is Qualm. Daily Addictions prompt is Sea. Your Daily Prompt is Sentience.

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