The Choice and Consequences of Traveling
Most of us travel by choice. No one is twisting our arms or threatening our lives to go. In fact, we are actively searching for more opportunities to spend all our time and money on travel. So no one should feel sympathy when we moan about feeling homesick. No one need console us when we miss out on things happening at home. We chose to be somewhere else; we travel by our own free will.
Still, that doesn’t keep us from feeling sorry for ourselves when we sadly look at friends’ wedding photos on Facebook, instead of Chicken Dancing with them at the reception. We still mope around when we have to work on Thanksgiving , Fourth of July and other home-based holidays. And we still feel terribly lonely when we lose someone back home and realize we’re too far away to make it to the funeral. Maybe that one’s the worst. Instead of being with friends and family who are going through the same pain, we make a few long distance calls and have to carry on as usual.
Those of you reading between the lines will realize this is teetering dangerously close to an autobiographical pity fest. Before we fall over the edge into the steep ravine of feeling blue, let’s remind ourselves that this semi-nomadic lifestyle is one we chose. It’s one whose good outweighs the bad, even if we are currently in a moment of bad. Let’s also remind ourselves that homesickness is not exclusive to those overseas. Every move, every change in life demands some element of discomfort, and a certain number of nights lying bed wishing things were how they used to be.
Although our travels often take us from the people who are the most important, we’re not running away from people. It’s quite the opposite. We are People Lovers, in the same way Ceasar Milan is a Dog Lover. In some ironic cosmic twist, it is our passion for meeting people that drives us hemispheres away from the people we love the most. We’re out to see how the rest of the world’s population lives. We want to learn the customs, the language, the habits of people from afar.
All we can hope is that we don’t lose perspective in the course of our current zig-zagging around the globe; that we don’t substitute interesting human encounters for real relationships. We hope that our friends and family back in a home far, far away can understand our un-understandable movement. We hope that with each plane, train and ferry we are making the right choice. After all it’s all a choice.