I love the sound the zipper on my suitcase makes. I hear it and smile, because I know it’s time to go. My clothes are stacked neatly, folded perfectly in meticulous piles, ready to be crammed together and packed away. My shoes are wrapped, my toiletries counted and my mind is racing. I am fleeing.
I’m running away from the gossip, silly games and general bullshit that comes from small town life. I’m removing myself from daily small talk, feeble attempts at networking and other insincere gestures that rise from routine. I’m moving away from heartache, disappointment and anger — and moving towards peace of mind, the welcome silence that comes from being a stranger, the comfort of being un-comfortable; a creature of habit thrown out of its hole.
Jane Fonda recently said (and I paraphrase) “It’s not important to be perfect. It’s important to be whole.” I learn this lesson whenever I travel.
I’ve never had a perfect trip. Flights are delayed, bags go missing, food is terrible and weather never cooperates. But I have experienced amazing, un-believable trips, adventures that have exceeded any and all expectations. When I travel, I’m free to let go — of guilt, of sadness, of anything that creates a void in my heart, attempts to break my spirit and make me feel less than whole.
With this freedom, I take time to reflect, to learn and to fully experience. And when it’s done, I gratefully return home, refreshed, re-energized and ready: to continue on my path, to face challenges head-on and always with clearer perspective on what truly matters.
Perhaps I’m an escapist. Perhaps all I really know how to do is runaway. The truth of the matter is this is what works for me. Travel is my solid mechanism for survival. And I can’t wait to go away again.