I had it in my mind that yesterday was to be my 'catch up day,' much needed after ten days in China and a week in Houston for the holidays before that. I had grand plans, and went so far as to email myself a "Sunday To Do" list: unpack, do laundry, take out the trash, deal with work emails.
Instead, I slept through four alarms, woke up at 1pm, and accomplished a staggering total of zero tasks on the list. (But are you surprised?) The day before, my flight landed at 8:30am, and then immediately after I arrived home, I promptly crawled into bed and fell asleep, waking up to dark skies at 7:30pm. Slept through the cleaners vacuuming the whole apartment, and all.
(To be fair, I've been sick on top of being jet lagged.)
In the midst of this flurry of non-activity, I thought: well, crap. Travel can get real wacky. Note my eloquence, thank you.
First of all, planes. Gigantic steel (are they steel??) machines that transport you all over the world and through any number of time zones as you sit on your butt watching action movies or sleeping in a seriously uncomfortable position. Who woulda thunk.
And then – this act of doing nothing whilst inside a giant object hurdling across the sky... well, it can seriously screw up your concept of time. Sometimes, you lose a whole day. Sometimes, you can gain one! But this "doing nothing" can be so deceptively exhausting that you spend those extra hours sleeping them all away, like me.
At points A and B, you're exposed to completely different concepts of 'normal.' From customs, to expectations, greetings, food, traffic laws (and the degree to which you're supposed to abide by them), languages, ideas and philosophies, perspectives of the same historical event, climate, AND SO MUCH MORE. Particularly mindblowing to me, which became ever-so-apparent after acting as a translator for so much of this trip, is that not only are there words that simply don't translate from one language to another, but also sometimes there are entire concepts that are impossible to grasp without a full discussion of its coming about.
The lessons and experiences you gather as you travel will quietly follow you as you readjust to your ordinary. Each of my journeys have gently nudged me to be more open-minded, thoughtful, passionate, and willing to try new things. I don't pick up on it, but usually someone will point it out.
Despite diving into crisp white sheets and a pile of fluffy pillows and exclaiming "HEAVEN" at hotels... despite how every wall in sight looks Instagrammable and every tidbit of knowledge is fascinating and every sense is seemingly heightened, nothing will ever beat sinking into your own (wrinkled) duvet and the first glimpse of your city's own (familiar, yet still breathtaking) skyline. I have this theory that as head-over-heels I am for exploring new places, half the high is from the feeling of coming home.
all prepped & ready for SuperBowl 50!
K, so. I could go on for hours on this topic, but I'm cutting myself off now. I didn't intend for this to be so all up in yo face "I see the liiiiiiight," but this leaving and coming home business really is pretty incredible, isn't it? Or, in simpler words – quite wacky.
(PS I'm on cold meds, and ahhh now you get it.)
Do you have any trips planned? What was your most life-changing travel experience?