I live in a suburb in the Midwest. When you look at the area, it's pretty typical of the region: housing developments, strip malls, and lots of streets. It's about as mundane as you can get. However, if you look closer at these objects, on the molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels, there's a lot more going on than you might imagine. Looking at living creatures on various levels is even more interesting. In fact, I find molecular biology so interesting that I majored in it.
Children start out with a sense of wonder and an urge to experiment and learn, which is why they make excellent scientists. Unfortunately, we tend to lose the sense of wonder as we grow up. That's why science fiction and fantasy are so important to me: they help me keep the sense of wonder alive. Science fiction and fantasy not only take us to other worlds, they also help us expand our sense of what is possible. This is something we all need to help us create new things and solve the problems of the future.
If you're a long-time reader of science fiction and fantasy, does it still inspire you to wonder? Or do you read it for other reasons?