three months ago on july 29th, at around eleven am bst, or half past five am as far as my internal clock was concerned, i landed at london heathrow for a very quick vacation—which was only in the cards for me due to my partner already being there on a university study abroad program. today, as i write this at midnight on october 29th, it's hard to imagine i was there at all, but simultaneously i feel like that trip was what validated a lot of my opinions on traveling and what i want to do and where i'd want to go.
it was a chaotic flurry when i got there though; functioning off of one hour of uncomfortable rest in economy, and then trying to force myself to adjust to british time within the remaining half-day where i did so much moving, adjusting, and drinking (now that it was legal for me) was almost too much, and my sleep schedule never fully recovered on its own after the return trip. then in the following (literal) handful of days, it was a rapid series of attempts to see all that made sense to see—and while in hindsight now we know how better to handle a trip like this, as it was a lot, but still a great amount of fun experiencing what felt like a fantasy.
those four full days and the half days on either end were some of the most chaotic but easily enjoyable days of my life so far, experiencing such a massive city on the other side of the world. i know it's not magic, and while (as a friend rightfully pointed out earlier last month) i know it could well enough end up in a situation where i'd find countless things i might despise there, i also know that that's exactly what it would be like anywhere—even where i am right now, where i've been accustomed to the exact motions of getting out of my designated parking spot and walking the same few hundred feet across to the same staircase multiple times a day, to sit at the same desk in the same living room in the same apartment that i'll be in until three months after i graduate university.
traveling might not solve anything, and it'll certainly add new problems or conflicts to my life, but it feels like such a human experience, one that i think there's so much value in having and repeating, that right as i got back from my jfk connecting flight i felt like i had misplaced something of my own. it was absolutely cathartic, the ability to just go. i don't see myself ever not having a set home, a place i'll continue to have in one spot that feels like the 'true' home where i'll be completely me—but i also never see myself staying there forever, or consistently. it's much more useful to myself and my own mental state to treat it as a kind of replenishing site, a temporary return to normal before going wherever else fits a bit more at that time.