People, myself included, will usually deny that travel is an escape.
We often doth protest (perhaps a little too loudly) that it is a way of broadening the mind and perspective, of connecting with the truth of the commonality of the human experience, a way to create empathy for ourselves and each other and a way to learn about ourselves by how we engage and react with the new and the strange.
I believe with all my heart and soul that all of these things are the capital ‘T’ Truth.
It is also an escape.
There can be no denying that right now I feel a huge need to put some geographical distance between myself and my current reality. I know. I know. I realize that I bring myself along in this equation.
But I also know that when I am having to navigate through a totally different landscape, my mind has to jump off its current hamster wheel and use all that energy to wend through a bright new shiny maze instead. This…this jumping off of that well-worn wheel is a very good thing. Let that stupid thing tilt and spin without me. Once empty of my furious feet, it will grind to a halt (especially when we are once again lost and staring, hard, at the compass in the hope that we will soon find the right trail).
The thing is, I am not so much a woman as the aforementioned hamster-mind. I spend way too much time in my head cranking that infinite wheelie. Seriously, if you look up existential angst, you’ll find a picture of my furrowed brow and that cage toy. I spin and spin while thinking about good deaths versus bad deaths and quality of life and how to live well and create and keep connections, how to be authentic, and how to create in general, and, and, and…and lately I feel worn out by it all. I want to jump off the ride.
The process of leaving begins with packing; a process that, no matter how many times I do it, seems to get no easier. Then there is that no-man’s land of the airport, where clocks spin backward; where people are eating their breakfast while seated beside someone having a late dinner.
Lifting off, we are transported above, and out of the world. Then, on the plane there is that exquisite something (or is it that state of nothing-ness?) that happens where all the rules of the normal world fall away. For those hours aloft we are somehow free of the gravitational pull of all that is known.
And then, surprise! Whether it’s Regina or Manchester, we land in a world that believes that what they’re doing, and how they’re living, is the only reality. And for just a little while that becomes our truth too.
They say a change is as good as a rest.
Bring it on, I say. I am so very ready to escape.