I’ve managed to travel a ridiculous amount in the last decade, and one of the only things I have found hard is the return home. After several hours – anywhere from 4 to 24 – I find myself in a familiar environment and realise I’m really close to being “back”.
As I walk from the gate or customs to the luggage carousel, I always notice that the pace of my fellow travellers pick up. Mine never does, because I know that my luggage won’t be there, and I’ll have a few minute wait. What distinguishes me from the bulk of my fellows is that there’s someone waiting for them when they return.
When I’m visiting people I care about, getting on the plane is always hard. There’s more where I’m coming from than where I’m going, and I know that the only thing waiting for me at home is a cab ride or collecting my car from the parking garage, and a 15 minute ride home either way. No one’s ever at home, and I never get a hug that says “welcome back”.
When I’m visiting, there’s always friends at the other end. There’s nothing quite like being spotted from across the concourse by Zoe and being greeted by a mad dash and a huge hug, or a beer in the airport bar (only in YVR, which rocks) with Rachel and James because you just want to reconnect and say hi right then and there.
Moments like this always make me sad. I’ve posted this photo before, but rediscovered it last week and realised what it means to me. Poking through the cloud is the place where my friends are, and where i was a few short hours ago. I’m on my way out, I don’t know when I’ll be back, and there’s not a lot to look forward to until I’m actually home and even then, it’s usually the day after.
Parting nothing. Departing is such sweet sorrow. I know I’ll be home, but sometimes what’s on the other end doesn’t seem to be worth it.