I have a large and closely knit family. But each and every one of us has travelled this last month. Some have travelled for work, some for play and some to reconnect with old friends. But we have all experienced a change in our usual routine, our place, and even our food. This week, we all will have returned home for the season.
Travel is an exercise in contrasts. It is about how you feel just before you leave home, and how you feel just before you return. In those watershed moments, you learn things.
You learn that for better or worse, you were in a routine. When you leave, you cannot help but critically appraise that usual routine. And you should critically appraise your usual routine.
You learn how you feel about being with your spouse, and that is precisely because he is elsewhere. You may make new resolutions about what good things you will do when you get back. But beware, inertia is powerful, and there are reasons why you always did things the way you did. You must figure them out if you want your life and your relationship to move forward.
You will learn how people change over time. My daughter marveled at the changes she saw in her 18 month old daughter after a ten day adventure. I marveled at the changes I saw in her.
At reunion I visited with friends of 35 years duration. They are still themselves, but more so. I am glad I chose my close friends wisely so long ago. I still adore my sophomore roommate. Time loops back in a circle and we felt and acted like roomies for the span of one evening, then we went back to our alternate realities.
Some of us like to stay curled up in our Hobbit holes smoking our figurative pipes and drinking our tea. But adventures knock on the door, annoying us at first then compelling us. As the Hobbit's tale teaches us, the journey is the only way to learn who we are and where we are at home.