The Untold Gift of Travel

Written from the road in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary

I blink twice. Black silhouettes of trees blur in and out of focus; the bill of my cap gently taps the glass preventing me from smushing my nose up against the window pane. The bus continues along at a brisk pace, yet the objects outside of my window seem to be moving slowly as though part of another world. As we pass by a wind farm, I can barely make out the faint outline of hundreds of windmills dotting the landscape as they spin moonlight into gold. A strong sense of nostalgia washes over me as dozens of memories from the past two months begin to flick through my mind like those moving frames of a guy in a bowler hat riding a bicycle with an oversized front wheel. Certain frames elicit memories of home; summer-evening barbeque's, Church potlucks and movie nights with my family and one thought begins to shout above the others: it will be nice to be home.

It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.
— Mark Twain

Everyone speaks to the incredible allure of adventure. Nobody speaks to the paradoxical mash-up of nostalgia for the past and infatuation with the present. I get it, though! The stories of arriving in a city with no place to sleep that night or listening to an orchestra play Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" in Venice are the most brilliant gems in the trip's crown. But that indescribable feeling that no one talks about is what sticks to your ribs, so to speak. It's what shapes you. That feeling is intoxicating... a strange loneliness... singularity. Yet strangely beautiful, as well. While you spend your days experiencing unique cultures, beautiful languages, and breathtaking spaces, it leaves you with an appreciation for home... boring ol' home. I am having a hard time putting it into words exactly. Perhaps, you will have the opportunity to experience this feeling yourself. I hope you do.

Travel the world, if only for this. This sense of distance, this faux nomadic lifestyle, this brewing love for "home". Yes, travel to miss home.