My suitcase is unpacked, the washer is going and most everything is already put away. I've been home for less than 12 hours, but I'm struck by how entirely different I am after travel and how entirely the same everything is. Italy wasn't the trip I expected, Rome is more crowed and full than I could have imagined yet still worth it and Capri more beautiful than I had anticipated. For this normally solo traveler traveling with my loved ones was challenging and altogether wonderful. Many contradictory thoughts are holding space within me. I'm pragmatic that way.
It will take a few days for me to feel right again. Travel through time zones leaves me feeling worn out, exhausted and off for days following a major trip. I feel like most people don't write about that part of travel, but if you're anything like me it's really rough on the body. Upon landing in Greensboro last night I felt relieved to be home, happy to smell the familiar scents of Greensboro with it's fresh air, and hear the familiar night noises. Greensboro's slower pace is at once noticeable after the big cities full of people and the crowded airports. There is no one to greet me at the airport aside from the uber driver and that hits me in the spot in the chest where a heart is normally found. The pang of loneliness washed through me and I swallowed it like a necessary pill. I'll fold up that feeling for now and tuck it away in a purse pocket better to focus on the things I can control. I did just spend 10 days with family so I'll count myself lucky, focus on that, and yet I yearn...
Greensboro had what appeared to be a harvest moon last night, it was big full and glowing an orangish red. It felt like a welcome home present made special for me. The uber driver let the windows stay open and I was grateful for the feeling of the night on my face. Arriving on my porch in the glow of the motion light I ached remembering that I didn't have a dog to go pick up and I thought about how I wouldn't have done the year of the travel if Max was still alive. Bittersweet is the word, but more like a chocolate bar that's 95% Caco when you could also use some sugar. Luckily there were 3 hand written letters in my mail box greeting me like good friends when I got back. Despite my sleep deprived state I opened them and devoured each one like a good hug making up for the pangs of loneliness I felt at the airport.
When I'm away for a long period of time while traveling my thoughts occasionally drift out of the moment to my house. I always have someone checking in on it, or spending time there, tending to the plants and taking in mail but I worry none the less. Will the garden get enough water while I'm away? Will the basil bolt before I can pick it? I also worry about mail, is the box over flowing? Then it's thoughts of my house plants, should I have asked someone to water them? They are after all mostly succulents I hope they'll be ok. I think they mostly were with a few exceptions (whoops).
There are also rhythm's of my life I miss when I'm away, my morning routine with a pot of french pressed coffee and time to think and spew out my loud clanking thoughts into my morning pages. I mostly kept up with writing while I was in Italy, but I was hankering for my own pot of coffee and daily doses of alone time. Italian americano's and Cappuccinos are strong and great, but always leave me missing my french press.
All this is to say I love travel it's like one big long extended artist's date. My cousin Erin called this an Epic Artist's Date and it was. More art than I could digest in one trip. Sensory delights around every corner, heart filling time with my family. Especially the magical dinner my sister made us in Capri that we ate outside on the veranda to candle light with a view of the ocean and coast. It was wonderful and it reminds me how much I love home. Sometimes I think part of the fun of travel is getting to see how much you miss home or not. It's like a barometer for your life. If you miss home, and routines and loved ones it means you're doing something really right back home. if you don't miss home and don't want to get back then maybe things at home are off and need some work. Creatively speaking my well is overflowing and I'm thinking about the delightful writing projects that are set out before me. I've got new material to add especially to my fictional novel based on a few experiences in Capri.
Writing Prompt questions for you...
When you travel what do you miss from home?
When you travel what are you excited to get home to?
When you travel what aren't you excited to come home to?
These questions are worth some thought.
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