Monday, January 25, 2010

Lonely Traveler

I kicked off my 2010 with a crazy travel schedule for work.

2 weeks, 5 cities, 9 plane rides, 2 long drives, 4 hotels, countless tricycle rides, loads of luggage and bitbit na pasalubong... all of which eventually earned me a bad case of lumbar strain.

Occupational hazard aside, I've found some time to collate reflections of my travel highs and lows...

Leaving home at 4am to catch flights
while the whole village is still asleep save for the
dawn street sweepers and nightshift guards.

It just being me, my suitcase, and I.
Traveling alone,
and not really knowing anyone at my next destination.

But then again there were lovely cafes by the boulevard,
where one can have long breakfasts alone.
Just me and my thoughts,
as I sip my morning coffee and watch the fishermen out at sea.

There were lovely strangers who welcomed me into their homes,
shared with me stories of their lives and their dreams.
Those moments when I find myself stepping out of my own shoes
to see what it's like being in theirs.
And the realization that the world is pretty neat from that vantage point, as well.
Different. But still beautiful.
A different kind of beautiful.

And then there were the lull times.
Waiting times. In between coming and going.
A chance to just sit and stay put.
To not do anything, not be headed anywhere.
And to not feel guilty about it.

And then the trip back home.
Home to my old house,
my old bed, my old office desk...
but not my old self.

Because I've had the chance to take a step back,
and have some time away from my own life.
To honestly take it all in,
and realize that I've chosen to live in such a way that simple pleasures -
like staying put, lingering over a nice morning cup of coffee,
and just staring out into nothingness,
leaving my thoughts free to wander wherever they wish -
have all become unfamiliar luxuries.

That was the trip back home where I decide that when I get back,
I'll make sure things aren't the same.

It's been a great January.
Now to make sure it'll be an amazing 2010.