I’ve always loved travelling. All of it. The logistics, the sensations, the discoveries.
I love packing. It’s a process I take an unreasonable pride in. Very few things compare to a well-packed bag, I think.
I love the actual departure. Planes taking off are a childish joy, trains leaving stations a romantic bliss.
I love the peace that comes with doing nothing while being on the move. A moment to read, watch, listen, eat. And drink bad coffee.
I love the internal reboot that comes with new customs and new languages. Every belief of mine challenged by a new place, every habit questioned, every flavour appreciated.
But there’s been a shift lately. It’s happened a few times now. That last trip to Asia for example – to the Olympic Games. It’s not that I didn’t want to go – of course I was raring to go, I couldn’t believe my luck. The Games!
But the moment I closed the door and left, I felt a bang in my chest. My heart, dreaming of exploring but begging to stay cuddled on the sofa. A desire to discover while still waking up in that little flat of ours.
It’s a strange paradox, the traveller’s one. You’ve been restless; you’ve been ready to go. But when the time comes, the nostalgia of home is like a perfume you put a bit too much on, overwhelming and ever present.
It’s a strange paradox, a dilemma that’s painful at times. But it’s also what gives you a reason to come home.