Welcome Home

Just one last thing about traveling…

Coming home.

As in, literally walking in the front door.

Coming home from a trip to people or pets is a fantastic way to be greeted. Your tribe misses you (I hope!) and they physically reestablish your connection with hugs, wagging tails, and whatever it is cats do. How can this this not be an emotional boost? What a great feeling. All that’s missing is sweeping symphonic music.

I, however, come home to an empty apartment. This isn’t a pity-party sentence. I chose to live alone and I like it. I might not get a physical welcome, but I surely get a spiritual one. I feel a great release in tension when my door opens. I’m not that tense to begin with but it’s just that when I cross my threshold, the highly structured movement and concentration of travel is immediately erased. Everything is exactly how I left it, and my kitchen/living area is the most familiar space I’ve seen in days.

For me coming home reasserts that this is my space. My personal space. As much as don’t like to worship my belongings…and I think I and many others have too many things…a sense of my own space is something I value highly (if you share space with other people and animals, same general idea). This is the place to go to recharge. A place to start from the next day. Leaving and coming back reminds me I’ve created a my own personal mother ship.

When I get home, I like throwing open my suitcase on the bed, and doing a clothing and receipt re-cap of my trip. Meaning, first as I take the clothes out, my brain immediately plays back what I was doing when I wore them, like little cloth postcards.

And, second, I have spot in my suitcase where I put receipts, (and other miscellaneous paper) from things I have purchased and places I have been. This stems from my “fear-of-not-recycling-enough” quirk. So even though I know I can’t save the world every hour of every day, when I’m traveling and I can’t find a proper recycle container I’ll just hold the item and later put it in my suitcase. Depending on how long I’ve been gone, I’ll usually have quite a few receipts and such from all those little vacation purchases and crap I pick up along the way. There’s a always a small stack when I get home, though not quite enough to make a ticker tape parade in my bedroom, which would actually be fabulous. Anyway, each peice of paper is a reminder of what I did on my trip, another quick recap. I’m into closure, can you tell?

To finish up my just-arrived-home chores, everything in the suitcase that can be thrown in the washer gets thrown in the washer. I may have read too many articles of tourists bringing back critters and infestations. [No offense friends whose house I stayed at or the great state of North Carolina…washing everything is just a habit now.]

Not all is perfect. I never seem to have as much mail waiting for me as I think I’m due and my food provisions are wonky, meaning the next day’s meal could be a crap shoot. But once the load of wash is going, and the suitcase is put back up on the shelf, the trip is officially over. I’m lucky enough to be able to go places, but more lucky to come back home. Cue that freakin’ symphonic music

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