I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. So said Robert Louis Stevenson light years ago and methinks the man has a point. I like to drive. My hand is first up when volunteers are sought to drive from A to B. I have fond memories of driving over 300 miles to play 36 holes of golf while living in Valdez, Alaska. When I’m in Ireland and have access to a car, I’d happily spend the time chauffeuring just about anyone. No reason necessary. I had high ambitions as a teen to be a long-distance trucker and crossing the States on Route 66 is on my bucket list.
I like to travel by train. I can get up, move around, choose whether or not to engage in conversation. Looking out the window is like watching a giant movie screen – no better example of life imitating art. I like to travel by plane, too, and would like it even more if it wasn’t for the baggage-related angst and the heightened sense of loneliness that occasionally hits when it seems that everyone else is being met off the plane but me.
I wonder though, if the best bit about travel is coming home. Putting my key in the front door. Dumping my bags. Hoping the fridge fairy has been to stock up. Checking on my girls and being glad that they’re all still alive. Making a cuppa. And looking forward to getting between the sheets of my bed.
This week, as so many people the world over face another night on a cardboard mattress wondering when and if they’ll see another cup of coffee, I give silent and fervent thanks for having some place to come home to. I realise that home is a state of mind and that part of me still qualifies Ireland as ‘home home’… yet this is serious: I’m actually thinking of a Hungarian Christmas tree this year (and it’s only May!)
(Note: to read the concept behind the Grateful Series – check out Grateful 52)