Sitting down to dinner at an airport cafe last night, I reflected on how much I love travelling, how lucky I am to be able to do it so much, and how much I love coming home even more.
This particular trip was short but good. I was fortunate to get to spend some quality time with the business partners I normally work with from afar, and to re-visit a city I haven't been to in years.
I woke up early yesterday morning and watched the sun rise over this new city. I hit up a local gym for my run, picked up a copy of the local newspaper, and strolled the crisp autumn streets in the hunt for coffee. These are the everyday things I love to do as a tourist, I think because they're the everyday things I love so much about my life at home. Sunrises shining off of skyscrapers, early morning runs, and, lest we forget, coffee.
As much as it was a pleasure to eat out every meal at a new (to me) local restaurant, to jet set around the country, to soak in the local culture somewhere different, I sure did love coming home.
The older I get, the more value I place on the concept of home. I think this is because, as a child, the concept of home was a given, a default, something I took for granted. I live in a house with a mom and a dad in a city with lots of family, and so shall it always be. But, for most people, myself included, this doesn't hold true our whole lives. I live in a new city now, my mom and much other family have passed away, and the concept of home is more transient.
Sometimes an acquaintance will ask me if I'm going home for Christmas, and I'll give them a quizzical look, thinking, "what does that mean?" Not to get too profound here, but it does make me ask myself, what is home? Logically I am aware that when folks ask me that, they are referring to the city in which I was born and raised, where my dad still lives. But I don't really think of that place as home any more, and I'm only sort of starting to think of my new city as home, since I don't have family here. It's a very bizarre feeling, being in transition between homes like that.
So, it actually comforted me greatly when on this latest trip I got a little homesick for my current city. Longing to be home isn't necessarily a pleasant sensation, but the fact that I instinctively thought of this place as home made me happy.
I've been on many trips, vacations and otherwise, since moving to my current city, and this was the first trip where I actually felt like I was coming home when I flew back. And that, my friends, is a good feeling.