On Traveling

We’re leaving for the beach tomorrow, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I like packing and traveling. I like the security of having all of my favorite things and necessary items all together and compacted into a few bags. I like watching the landscape slid by the window, knowing that I’m moving to someplace new and that when the day is done I’ll be sleeping somewhere very different than the one I woke up in. It’s fun to arrange my things in a foreign room, trying to achieve organizational perfection. And then on the way home, everything seems to move faster, until I’m in my own house again, putting everything back in its home and falling back onto the pillows on my bed.

And while newer destinations are more exciting, I love the comfort of returning to the beach, a place I know like the back of my hand. I unpack automatically, everything rapidly falling into its place. The toiletries go in height order on my dresser, bathing suits in the top drawer, dresses and skirts hung in height order, pajamas on the far left hook behind the door, and shoes get lined up with their tips under the dresser. And when it’s all done, the suitcase slides under the bed, open so that I can repack it as I wear what I’ve brought.

It’ll be interesting to make the same journey I made only a few weeks ago without friends and the trials of an aging Jeff. Our Prius will glide along, smugly making fifty miles per gallon as my father plays his iPod and we bicker over music vetoing rights. Cecelia won’t be there being goofy, I won’t be stressed out over my role as navigator, and George won’t be stretched out in the back seat, regaling us with stories of her adventures. The trip will be vastly different, but I’ll still write stories or character sketches in my head while looking out of the window with a sad expression on my face. There will still be long stretches of comfortable silence, and we’ll all continue to eagerly count down the mile markers. And the destination is still the same. I’m heading to my second home, and all is well.

P.S. Sometimes I misspell words, and it’s very embarrassing. The title has now been corrected.

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