Not unless you are comfortable with the fact
That once you awaken the beast
It is impossible to put it back to sleep.
Not unless you are prepared to see
Gross inequalities in action
And face the reality of your privilege
Face the reality that there is no difference
Between you and the marginalized
But the simple fact of where
And to which parents
You happened to be born.
Because you will outgrow relationships
You never thought you would
And feel a lot of guilt about it.
Trust me, do not travel.
Because you will come back to the city
You used to flow with like running water
And for some reason
It will feel like you’re trying to wade through cement.
You think when you leave all your old bullsh*t
Set out on a truth-seeking mission
You’ll feel awakened when you return.
Sometimes you don’t.
Sometimes that baggage will be waiting for you
The second you walk back through the door.
The am-I-doing-enough-with-my-life anxiety
Trying to compress yourself
Back into a space 10 sizes too small
Trying to dull your light
So as to not annoy others with the glare.
Because Theroux said you go away for a long time
And return a different person,
But you never come all the way back.
But maybe you don’t want to.
For when we travel, we feel infinite, limitless
We have less fear
We speak louder, kiss more, say “yes” to new adventures
Take more risks
Notice more around us
Our hearts are more open to different cultures and perspectives
We are directly responding to the present
We are open and alive.
Maybe what really slays us about returning home
What leaves us restless and lost
Is how we think we need to slip straight back into who we were
What we did
And how we were before
And it doesn’t fit anymore
Maybe that’s what chokes us
Makes us hate our home
And romanticize everywhere else we go.
We think that when we come home
we need to put the old version of us back on a shelf
Slip back into the mold of who everyone expects us to be
Stick to the people we have always stuck to
But we don’t.
The person you are when you travel is you
Just a little braver
A little more resourceful
A little more inclined to say “yes” to possibilities
And gives a little less of a damn what anyone else thinks.
Author: Caitlin Creeper
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Callie Rushton