Friday, December 25, 2009

Depart Mental

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 21:  A United Airline...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I don't like leaving places. Even when I am leaving home to go on a journey, I get very emotional.

I have a lovely friend who insists on dropping me off and picking me up at the airport when I undertake these journeys, and more grateful I could not be. However, I don't think that she knows that tears well up in my eyes as I grab the baggage from her trunk and head off in to the unknown.

By the same token, I get very emotional when I leave a country. It is unlikely that I shall ever pass this way again and inevitably the place and the beautiful faces of all the people that I have met there race through my mind as I silently say goodbye. This was the case in Ghana and it is the case in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Saying goodbye is very hard to do when you know that you shall never walk this ground again.

Such is the inherent nature of travel. On the upside an amazing new place awaits while you are on the journey, but eventually the next place is going back home.

Nonetheless, home is a pretty damn good place.

As I walk through customs I see two beautiful friends awaiting me, and all of a sudden it doesn't matter that my luggage is in Washington, D.C., promising to catch up with me.

In an instant I become aware that I haven't had a meaningful conversation in more than a month.

As we head to the car I light a smoke and look at my two friends, grateful to be home, but perplexed by the meaning of my journey.

Yeah, I saw a lot of things, but I have no idea what it means.

It is going to take some time to understand.