Dusk, Narita airport in Tokyo. Planes lined up neatly, their wings tucked in.
So I am back. Two months and a lot of airports later, I am back in my little bee box in Cebu with my two boys. It’s good to be back, but truly, it wasn’t so awful being away. The nice thing about travel for me is the suspension of responsibility. That sounds bad coming from a mom, but it’s true. I did miss my boys terribly and yet the time I spent speeding on the interstate with only a map to guide me is time that I will also miss.
I like the half-in, half-out quality of travel: time at a standstill onboard planes, losing or gaining a day depending on which time zone you are flying in to, the frantic rush or the sleepy lassitude you go through at airports.
Two months could be a time warp—too short, too long. What do I have to show for it?
In four days my friends and I filled a 10-18 year absence as we sat down to meals, conversation, the sharing of memories, the imparting of possibilities.
I have over a thousand photos to match the people, places, and things I encountered.
There are new books to fall into headfirst. There’s fresh music to swirl around in my head. There’s lots of new stuff for my boys to tinker with.
And in the style of conquistadores centuries before me, I also bring home all manner of exotica by way of sensations, experiences, impressions.
This for me is the real pleasure of travel, be it trans-Pacific, or a weekend traipse to that dusty little town outside your city—the kick lies in seeing beyond the familiar, challenging one’s mindset, experiencing even for the briefest of moments, another way to be.