This I Believe

Kirk - San Anselmo, California
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, nature
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

My mom believed in getting out, and so do I. She lived outside, her arms and shoulders always brown. She threw parties on the patio. She planned vacations. I spent most of my childhood out and about thanks to my mom, out running around, experiencing the world.

Through puberty and cars and college I still managed to get out. I rode my bike, climbed mountains, took road trips, and eventually I got out of the country. In my mid twenties I spent four months on the road in South America. For someone who was reared in a small town it was a big deal, and ultimately I found my limits. My sudden return home felt like defeat at the time, but in retrospect I know that I learned exactly what I set out to learn. I knew that getting out – way out – would do me good.

I still believe in getting out, but I’ve grown to appreciate its many varieties. I believe in getting out of my chair at work, and I believe in getting out of my office at lunchtime. I even spend some of my lunches bird watching or laying in the grass or walking around so that I can get my mind out of the office, too.

I believe in getting out of my house at night, when the world smells and sounds and looks different than it does during the day. And I like to take my sons out whenever possible, even if it means going in, like into a zoo, a museum, or a theater.

I also believe, more than ever, in the importance of getting out of my comfort zone; out of my town, out of my state, out of my country. I work for an adventure travel company that helps people journey to far away places, and I believe in what I do. I believe that my clients and the world benefit from the mix of cultures, the understanding of different points of view, the experience. I think that getting away from the familiar is one of the best ways to get out.

In the end, I believe that getting out brings balance. Whether it’s for a breath of fresh air or a trip out of town, I believe in the power of getting out and what it can do for the mind, the spirit, and the world.