Itching To Get Out

The pandemic gave us opportunities to travel inward. More time in our homes. More time exploring our interior landscape.

We’ve had more than enough of that.

I was scratching the walls to travel again.

In April, I went to  Vancouver, one of those places I’d always wanted to visit but somehow never made the trip.

A friend and I planned to go together but a few days before departure, it became clear that she couldn’t come. She cried, I cried, and then we made a plan: we would talk at the end of each day.

It turned out to be a good plan because it made me go through my days consciously storing memories to share on our nightly call.

There was the heart-pumping hike with a new friend from the podcasting workshop and his kind wife, with steep hills, giant trees, and bright green almost everywhere.

There was the ceramics artist and her studio that was profiled in the issue of House and Home that arrived last winter, during trip planning. A visit to the studio became a highlight of the trip.

One of my favorite things about travel is not the scheduled excursions, but the different ways of doing everyday life. The things people who live there take for granted.

There are big differences that require asphalt and concrete, like three separate travel lanes for pedestrians and bicycles and automobiles.

There are bicycle stoplights.

There are subways that are not only safe but spotless.

There are smaller things, like uncommon snacks from uncommon places.

When I was married to my first husband, I traveled extensively for business, mostly internationally. Every time I landed at O’Hare, I would scan the departure board, wishing I could get back on a plane and go someplace else—Auckland, Beijing, Copenhagen, Delhi, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Hong Kong, Istanbul….

I thought this desire was because I liked to travel, not realizing it was because I didn’t want to go home.

Now, when I come home, I am happy to be here. I love my bed and my paintings on the walls and my books and the way it smells when I’ve been gone for a while—faintly of oak from the raw oak floors.

My suitcase is half unpacked, my fridge needs to be restocked, and I’ve got Google maps open, wondering where to next?

Chewing the Cud of Good

Thankful for travel and a different perspective.

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