My feet met solid ground once again early Thursday morning. It was quite a dramatic affair - I'd been quite ill days before my departure, and boarded my hellish 11 hour flight still feeling beaten. Upon arrival, I learned my luggage had been left behind, then I was told I had missed my nieces birth by mere hours. I was incredibly upset - everything had taken its toll. And I still had to face a six hour drive before I was really home. Anyone present in that airport terminal, with the time to watch, would've had a curious set of observations about me.
Emotions have settled now, although all the experiences and the memories I have from my time away are trying to reconcile and find space in my head. I'm still not altogether 'together' - I think perhaps I have 'life-lag'. Maybe I have had this all my life. Getting back, after almost four weeks away has been strange. It is my life, I recognise it, but I'm having trouble fitting into the same space. Or wanting to fit into the same space. Routines aren't so familiar.
It's hard to summarise my trip. Yes, I had a good time - I saw some amazing things; but me, being the thinker than I am, can't help but feel I am walking away with more questions than answers. I guess that's what happens when you go on set tours. We were taken places, and then quickly moved on - for me, it kind of felt like I didn't have time to absorb what I was doing, what I was seeing - I feel like I looked into the window, but I never really went in. Everything became such a blur, markets started to look the same, names and hotels became confused in my mind - as quickly as my suitcase landed in one place, it was being packed and whisked off to another. It is the nature of the beast I suppose.
And people, so many people, everywhere, all the time. I found myself wishing all these fucking tourists would just go away, so I had some room to breathe. I seemed to forget I was one of those tourists, perhaps just not as vicious (I'd like to think).
This trip tested me in many ways, but it did not deliver what I thought. Everyone talks about travelling broadening your horizon - I think, in my case, it magnified that which was already in my sights. I didn't learn the secrets of life, I didn't come away loving or understanding myself better, I didn't learn more about compassion or tolerance, I didn't even get the holiday romance that I'd hoped for! I'm still lost, it's just that now I recognise my surroundings a little better.
I guess, as has been said - sometimes the meaning of life can be found in your own backyard. I learnt that this bird was not made to fly...or sail. I am not a woman of the world...I am a woman of Australia, of the land; of small things, big silences and profound gestures. I realise that I don't want to be where everyone else is, I want to be where my heart leads me - down forgotten tracks and quiet places, with special people...or a special someone.
A slap on my wrist for doing so, but my mind turned to John often; whenever I thought about being somewhere low key with someone who 'got' me, I imagined it was him. Shame on me.
I am glad to be home, and glad to be in my electronic home too - where I feel safe to say what I feel and follow journeys of different kinds.