Reflections on Coming Home

Posted on: November 1, 2018, by :

It is wonderful to travel.  There are new experiences, exciting places to visit and a welcome change of scenery and routines.  But my favourite part of travelling is always coming home (except for all the washing!).  When you’ve been away, there is something about flopping into your own bed and resting your head on your own pillow that is so comforting in its familiarity.  Of course, it is also wonderful to see family and friends again.

It’s interesting what you miss when you are away.  I was only travelling for three weeks and was with three compatible and amiable travel companions (Trine and Danny Wilson and David Goodwin).  But I found I still missed others back home.  Family, friends and yes, even my dogs.  (Dogs are people too.  Just ask David and Heather Brooker.)

I was surprised to find that I was craving news from home. Reading The Friendly Word provided an easy way to connect with what was happening at The Avenue.  It gave me a window to the joys, troubles and experiences of different individuals while I was away.  I loved being back at The Avenue last Sunday morning, and what a great service it was.  I feel fortunate to be part of a community which encourages us to explore questions and issues of life, faith, meaning, spirituality and a whole lot more.

Among the best things about travelling are the surprises and possibilities.  Getting lost, finding out-of-the-way places to experience as the locals do, learning new things.  You no longer operate on ‘automatic’ but instead, have to plan ahead and deal with the unexpected.  The changing environments keep your mind alert.  (Ask Danny about driving on the “right” side of the road around the Amalfi Coast.   That was certainly a challenging experience — even for the passengers.)

When I’m on holidays, I often reflect on my life back home.  Perhaps it’s a result of being in a different environment or having more unscheduled time.  I find myself reflecting on what I want to change in my life, in what ways I want to live differently, how I’d like to alter the structure of my days.  Many people set new year’s resolutions, but I find it’s holidays — whatever the time of year — that give me the perspective I need to see things with more clarity.

Travelling is often over-glamorised in stories and advertisements and it’s tempting to spend a lot of time dreaming — maybe even idealising — future experiences.  But life on a tropical island or in a romantic, ancient city is not perfect.  Life never is.  Perhaps we should, wherever we are, focus on the life that is ours today.  It doesn’t make sense to crave a life that is different if it means we neglect the one we are living right now.

Carolyn Goodwin

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