When I’m home, I long for the foreign and the strange (I am beyond longing at this point!): the smells, the sounds, the sites and the sensations of different cultures, different people.
When I’m travelling, sooner or later I long for a familiar face in the crowd. The need to hug my grandkids, to have a leisurely lunch with an old friend, to write at my desk and sleep in my own bed; all conspire to lure me back home.
Having been home for the last six weeks while Jimmy and I took care of some much needed housekeeping (I still don’ t know why we couldn’t have hired someone to take care of the housekeeping: the blood draws, the physical therapy, the new cataracts) I continually felt restless, that I was missing so much out there in the world at large.
What is this thing that has such a hold on me? I was hoping you’d ask. Okay, I did bring it up but this is typically a one-sided conversation anyway. Jump in any time. I know you're out there.
Travel is a lot of things to a lot of people, running the gamut from adventure to Zen-like with everything in between. Here’s what travel is to me.
. . . ordering something out of the Sky Mall catalogue, against your better judgment.
. . . allowing complete strangers to pat you down in the name of safety.
. . . discovering your internal alarm clock is set for three am local time.
. . . rarely knowing what day of the month it is, sometimes what day of the week.
. . . eating day after day sans diet.
. . . sitting two rows up from the crying baby on the eight hour flight to Europe.
. . . happening upon a highly entertaining street busker in a foreign country who caps off a
memorable two weeks of travel in a very unique way.
. . . communicating with locals via hand gestures.
. . . discovering how liberating it feels to step outside your comfort zone.
. . . spending five minutes figuring out how to turn the shower on.
. . . not letting a little rain (even a lot of rain) ruin your plans for the day.
. . . sometimes eating while on the run, then paying for it with the runs.
. . . detesting food that comes wrapped in cellophane or aluminum foil only to discover you
can stomach almost anything when you're hungry and on a plane.
return trip home.
. . . examining your passport with pride as soon as the local agent hands it back to you freshly
. . . celebrating other cultures.
. . . returning home with a better view of the world, and you in that world.
. . . losing yourself, finding yourself, loving the new you.