I awoke this morning in distress. It was the first time in over fifteen months that my bags were unpacked, and I was beginning to experience the first symptoms of travel detox. I arrived home (yes, HOME) from Italy a few nights before, and reality suddenly became imminent. It was difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea of home; it was a place I hadn’t been for an extended period of time, and my concept of home was no longer that of where I spent my childhood. In the last fifteen months, home had become a moveable ideal. While abroad, I learned to carve out my sacred spaces, revel in the efficiency of a cold shower, eat street food on Thanksgiving, and place complete trust in a stranger. My inability to identify home was coupled with my inability to identify the person I was when I was home. My sedentary self was trying to fend off my nomadic self. The dreams and ambitions I vowed to maintain abroad became inconceivable ideas. Lying in the same bed that I slept in from my youth to my teens, I wondered what I was thinking when I was ready to pack up my bags to ski the Himalayas, ride a horse across Mongolia, and swim with sharks in Belize.

Despite how far-fetched these ideas now seem, they was a time and place where they seemed effortlessly possible. The only thing weighing me down wasn’t a house or bills and loans; rather, it was my 18 kg. backpack. I lucidly remember a conversation I had in college, in which I confessed my eagerness to obtain a house of my own, filled with furniture and beautiful artwork, thereby symbolizing my “making it in the world.” It wasn’t until I lived out of a backpack, that I realized how complicated and cluttered most material possessions make life. Since being home, surrounded by these luxuries with; comfort, convenience, and commodity have slowly crept in. You return to that cycle of reality, becoming preoccupied with things that you think are important: errands, work, and commitments. I’ve become satiated in a superficial way, hoping that “real” life is about to being again. In rehashing my tales of travel, it has dawned on me that there will always be someone or something back “home,” it just takes that initial leap into reckless abandon to let life lift you up again.


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