My sister just wrote a superbly astute post about the dichotomy of travel. I have tried to find a way to express my longing for the familiar the second I step on a plane to leave home, and I have failed miserably. She captured it elegantly and beautifully in about two paragraphs (yeah, she has to one up her big sis – if it’s not through running, it’s through writing). Her blog is http://www.posatigres.com. She talks about “the missing feeling” that she gets when heading out on a trip.
I get that “missing feeling” in different variations when I head out on a trip but I always get it. When I left for Cancun on Wednesday morning, I got it as soon as I woke up to take a quick run. I always complain about the running routes in my neighborhood because there are only so many directions that you can take. Therefore, you would think that I would be excited about a new place, warm weather (it was 20 degrees when we left Columbus on Wednesday), and gorgeous running scenery. Instead, there I am pulling up my running pants and slipping on my sweatshirt thinking “Why did we schedule this trip?” What happened between the time that we scheduled the trip and the day the trip occurred that can cause such a divergence? Then, I am out running and thinking back to two days ago when I was giving Maria and Mario a bath and Mario splashed water all over me and Maria and Maria hit him in the head and he pinched her back and I yelled at them both and Maria yelled back “I don’t like you mom!” with her hands crossed over her chest and Mario splashed me again in the face. I walked out of the bathroom into the hall, glared at Jon, and asked him to remind me of that moment if there was any time during our trip that I started to miss home. So, a momentary wish to get away hit me but then – before I even hit the next block – that aching pain for home comes back.
Nevertheless, I arrive home and don that smile of mine as I do my last-minute packing. “This trip will be so much fun” I pronounce to my hubby. I continue the back and forth through the trip – experiencing moments of sheer delight in being in Cancun (diving against the waves of the ocean, playing with the dolphins, enjoying a meal without any little person throwing food on me or interrupting me every second) and experiencing moments when I miss my babies and my Columbus life (there were so many kids in our hotel reminding me of Maria and Mario with every turn of the corner). But, in the end, as I sit here ready to board a plane back home tomorrow morning, I cherish these past five days away. It has refreshed me, drawn me closer to my hubby, allowed me to appreciate all I have, and most of all, given me a new experience to tuck away in my pocket. I typically take trips that involve lots of hiking and exploring and sleeping on hard surfaces but this one I spent lounging next to an ocean and eating at fancy, upscale restaurants.
It was nothing like my home life and that was what made it so pleasurable and satisfying. But, in less than 24 hours I will be back in such a life with my babies – seeing things just a tad bit differently – and forgetting how I could ever have experienced that “missing feeling.”