As of yesterday, I’ve officially been home for as many days as I travelled for this year. 18 countries, 33 cities, and friends I never would have met if I hadn’t left home, somehow all took place in only 118 days. The life of a nomad seems like a fairytale now, far away and too good to be true.
But, in honour of positive thinking, there is beauty in being home. To appreciate the beauty I’m talking about, I think a person has to go away for an extended period of time and immerse themselves in a world separate from their own.
In my opinion, the word “travelling” has a different connotation than the word “vacation”. A vacation usually lasts a week or two, and typically involves an all-inclusive 24-hour buffet and an overcrowded pool.
Travelling, to me, is like switching lives. The intention is to disconnect yourself from your “regular”. Your perception on reality is only one way of seeing the world. Leaving it behind allows for an open mind to places and people different from what you’re used to.
When I first arrived home from four months in Europe, it took about two hours for me to feel as if I had never left. I had anticipated the feeling of coming home and what it be like. Looking back, I think I sensationalized it in my mind too much. At the time, I was ready to come home. Not to say I don’t daydream about where I’m headed next, but I was exhausted and needed a steady place to settle.
Sleeping in my own bed that first night back is such a simple concept, and it’s the simplicity of the matter that made it significant. It was like when you finish the last sentence of a book: it’s an accomplishment. You sit back and take a moment to soak in everything you’ve just read. I had just experienced an infinite plethora of places, people, food. And yet, the idea of sleeping with my own pillow was all I needed that first night home.
Travel helps to acknowledge the joy in the ordinary. Appreciating joy in the ordinary is searching for the silver lining in the mundane of every day life. Like the familiar scent of laundry detergent you use to wash your linens. In the end, those small, every day things usually end up being the big things.