Monday, February 15, 2016
Travel is a bit like dying, or rehearsal for it anyway. You bid farewell to life as you know it, your comfortable routines and familiar places, and find yourself conveyed to a world where you do not exist, or didn't up to now, a city of strangers, going about their business blithely ignorant of your existence.
Though unlike death, you get to come back, to return to your world, waiting for you. Which is the flip side of travel. Yes, you find new places—Edie and I enjoyed exploring Joshua Tree, investigating Los Angeles, dropping in on our son at Pomona College. But then you get your old life back, buffed to a shine by absence, the old routines given a bit more pizzazz, because you've had a little absence, and the heart has indeed grown fonder. That's also part of travel, a benefit that isn't as romantic or exciting as new discovery, but just as important. Maybe even more important. Because while discovering new places is valuable, re-discovering your real place in the world is vital. Because one day you'll leave and never return, and someone else will take your place. But not yet, and it's a blessing to be reminded of just how good it is to be home.