Suppose you grew up in a place that was ravaged with destruction, imagined, imaginary or real, where would you subsequently gravitate?
Actual destruction, I only experienced in utero as my hometown was bombed. Unlike the messy warfare in Iraq, Afganistan or Gaza, there was clean, industrial-like destruction. As bombers came from England, usually at night, the citizenry, notified by sirens, ran to ubiquitous, hefty air raid shelters. The next morning, perhaps sleepy but not otherwise hurt, it could view the new damage to the submarine harbor and facilities where famous battle ships had been built or apartment buildings, in the vicinity to the beach.
Would you settle in a place like California, Louisiana, Florida where nature forces could be unleashed resulting in similar mass destruction? Or would you settle near the Great Lakes where destruction, historically, was limited to a few incidences, effects of tribal warfare and the sinking of ships?
My first experience of the Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan gave me a sense of awe. Its sandy shore had not been violated by modern warfare, bombings! I found a small wilderness, protected by the DNR as National Lakeshore, largely devoid of signs of human habitation. After photographing the dunes, I finally found the courage to attempt to paint them.
Some of us research their roots, asking where did our ancestors come from? What part of world, Europe, Asia, Africa? Why not instead reinvent your own childhood? Imagine growing up in a place like a fairy tale (without the Orcs) and play.
You may bring your friend to this place of innocence.