So it’s already been 3 weeks since I hopped off that long-awaited long haul flight home from snowy London and could finally wrap myself safely in the arms of my loved ones.
I didn’t make it home in time for Christmas, but I did make it home in time to smell the still-fresh pine Christmas tree, wrap a suitcase full of presents collected around the world while playing Neil Diamond’s Christmas Carols CD on loop (well, it’s tradition) and enjoy a special edition ‘Christmas Day’ brunch with my family.
Home has never been such a comfort, and I have to say… I have never felt so much nostalgia, affection or respect towards my home city Adelaide. Each morning, I still wake feeling grateful to be in my own bed, and lie there for few moments longer than usual, just to hear the familiar early-morning sounds of our family household play out: Dad making breakfast upstairs, Sunrise news on telly, the birdies singing at sunrise (I can’t believe I have never noticed this before – they are LOUD). Walking barefoot without freezing toes is definitely still a novelty. Maybe it’s because i’ve had enough time and distance from these everyday routines and things to take for granted, that even the most familiar sensory experiences have adopted a touch of mystery and magnificence.
Has travel changed me? Absolutely. How? I don’t really know. It’s a lot of little changes i’ve noticed that seem to culminate to something greater.
For one, my eyes feel permanently wider. I am more conscious of my immediate surroundings – buildings, routines, people living around me. I see much naivety in that girl who, three months ago, boldly waved goodbye to her family and lover before flying across the globe solo, with but a suitcase full of dreams and absolutely no grasp on what was ahead of her. Travelling solo gave me the opportunity to be my own compass, best friend, confidant, day planner, point of frustration, mediator. I have challenged myself, looked after myself, listened to myself, felt so totally myself.
And everything feels a little different now. Richer, more saturated, fluid, beautiful. I have so much love for the world, my teacher.
And so while I am still lost for words when it comes to summarising my 9 week adventure (I cannot) maybe my most articulate observation is this: seeing the world not only gives you perception, love and awe for what’s out there, but also what’s always been all around you.
I don’t need to find the words to describe it. I shall live the magic and gracefully breathe it into my photos, words, art, and living.
The travel bug, now nestled permanently inside my belly, is already stirring, craving new adventures, culture, adrenaline, the allure of the unknown.
I am already planning my next adventure and will let you in on this little (big) plan of mine soon.
Happy 2011, lovelies x.