I love being away. Seeing new sights, experiencing new places, flying in airplanes, riding on trains, these are some of my favorite things. Yet, there is still nothing quite like coming home. As I was driving north from the Bay Area yesterday, the strong desire to be home hit me harder than it has in a very long time. I realized that I was not only open to the idea, but very eager to be home. I dearly missed my beautiful wife from whom I had been away for the past 10 days. I also missed the beautiful Ferndale mornings.
The trip had gone very well. I spent three days at our Mesa, Arizona office and then 3 more at our Berkeley, California office, with a weekend sandwiched in the middle at a cousin’s wedding. The time was well spent. The time in the office was productive and beneficial, and the wedding was wonderful. It hardly could have gone better. Yet by the end, I longed to be home. I even canceled my train and bus ride back to Humboldt and booked a rental car instead. My employer wouldn’t mind, and it would get me home over 3 hours earlier. When I finally crossed over Fernbridge after six hours of driving, seeing the valley open up before me, it was a moment of sheer delight.
The joy of returning home is one of the parts of the travel experience that I often overlook. Home can be easily forgotten while out adventuring, but there is a certain peace, a feeling of belonging, that washes over me when I am returning from an extended time away. It is hard to describe. It’s like a sense of place overwhelms me. A similar thing happened this morning as I walked to work. The barely chilly summer morning,, the quiet street, the smell of the fresh air, the sun lighting the hillside above town- I was home. No matter how long or far I roam, and no matter how wonderful and exciting the trips are, my heart will eventually long to return home.