Yesterday, my hobbit hunter hit level 22. I decided, after reviewing the level 22 skills for a hunter, that I wanted to get him to 22 before the weekend. As a result, I went to the Lone Lands with the sole intention of leveling him up. And I hated it. Leveling specifically to gain a level is dull. I picked up a quest, executed the quest. Turn-in and sell, get the next quest, etc. It's boring. Staying in an area to get the mobs I need is boring, doing the same thing for an extended period of time is boring and working through mobs with an eye on the xp bar is boring.
By way of contrast, I decided to change gears and head out to the North Downs with my hunter. I ran out and killed boars for a quest, stopped to gather wood, killed wolves because they were there and basically goofed off. I was having such a good time horsing around that I hadn't noticed that I had already dinged 22 and was a quarter of the way to 23.
I guess this goes back to the axiom: "a watched kettle never boils." Leveling to level is dull, Dull, DULL, while having fun and leveling as a result is way better.
Tonight, I've decided to start working on my guardian again. I haven't touched him in a while and he's the toon I most group with. I'll probably head to the North Downs again as Lone Lands is getting a bit routine. I'll be looking forward to the time when both my characters can head past the Last Bridge to the next zone. Forested and wild-looking, it should be neat to run around in there.