It's inevitable, we have to come home sometime. Like most people, I have a love hate relationship with this unavoidable aspect of traveling. The mood in my family is unmistakably grim as we sort out our gear and pack up. We know we to expect when we touch down, a life of relative ease, comfort, and convenience, and the truth is there is a part of us that craves the indulgence. The showers will be hot, the tv channels in English, and the tap water will be suitable for drinking. But still, I am a little misty eyed at the though of going back and wonder if I am actually meant for a life of perpetual wandering or if my melancholy is just a symptom of being bitten by the travel bug once again.
Bracing ourselves for reentry, the first thing we notice as we exit the airport is the lack of taxi drivers hustling for our business, we are left completely alone as we step into the arrivals area. Its pretty quiet and downright orderly.
As we drive home fro the airport, I am keenly aware that the streets are noticeably free of bags of rotting trash and broken glass. My hometown looks freshly scrubbed and polished, as if a new city beautification program was started while we were away. The difference in the condition of the roads and sidewalks is astounding to me. Not only is it clean, but the sidewalks here are virtual cakewalks compared to their Dominican counterparts which are full of potholes, crumbling concrete, and random two feet drop offs into open sewers.
Funny how I can be so pleasantly surprised by quiet and clean streets.
After the initial blinding gleam, all this calm and organized quietness really gets on my nerves. I get downright bored and highly agitated by how easy everything is from effortlessly purchasing $275 in groceries at Costco to getting in my car, which I know affectionately call a gua gua, and easily navigating the roads in relative safety to run errands. It's all too easy. Is this it? This is my life? Where's the difficulty, the struggle, the unknown? It's all too sanitary. Traveling is such a high, and coming home is, well, it's a low. I go from being grateful that everything is so easy to being irritated by it.
The whole thing is made worse by the thought that school starts again and I will be so busy I will want to rip my head off. I won't be able to sleep from all the anxiety and I won't be given a moment of downtime until late each evening.
This blog is meant to be a platform for me to document the highs and lows of traveling on a backpacker's shoestring budget. The trip doesn't start when the plane takes off, nor does it end when we leave our last hotel behind. There are lots of significant moments, thoughts, and decisions that are part of the journey.