Essays About

Traveling to See Home

I travel not only to see the world, but to see home. Every trip is two trips, because being abroad makes home a foreign land when I return. I choose destinations for their contrast with my origin: tropical instead of temperate vegetation, large instead of small cities, warm beaches in winter and alpine lodges in summer. I stay as long as I can, to weaken my memory of home. Then, at trip's end, as the airplane descends toward my old patch of earth, I get a newcomer's view of where I live. As I open my front door, my house is a hotel, where with a lodger's senses I notice the odor of my wood floors for the first time in months. For a day or two, I am a tourist of my own life.