Wednesday, August 15, 2012

There and Back Again

By Kathleen Broadhurst

 Well, it has been over a month now since I have been home and I apologize that this is the first that you have heard anything from me in that time. Returning home after almost a year away is it’s own sort of adventure.

To those who have been waiting to see what happened next, I’m sorry for the delay, life has been rough and my landing bumpy. There is a lot of work to do once you return from a trip like ours, getting new jobs, finding a place to live, unpacking boxes, trying to find your rice-cooker, sneakers, favorite blanket, ect.

It seems like after a month things are starting to settle down, I’ve found work, doing some writing no less, so I’m starting to feel like I may actually be able to connect my experiences in the world to something at home.

We found a sweet little apartment that sits in between an old fashioned New England green and railroad tracks. Though the noise from the train is loud it helps me feel connected to the wider world. When it rushes by I can’t help but think about where it’s been and where it is going. It eases the feeling of claustrophobia that has been haunting me since my return.

Coming home is at once deeply satisfying and also sad. It has been a marvelous thing to see the faces of friends and family again, to recognize people on the street and to be greeted in old spaces. But it is hard not to think of those who I left behind in Melbourne, or those who are still traveling. The friends I made on the road are often in my mind and knowing how far away they all are is hard to come to terms with.

The silence that accompanied my return has also been a bit strange. I don’t know why, whether it’s because I’m in America, or because a year is a bit to long to really ask about or if people simply aren’t interested but surprisingly few people have wanted to hear about the trip.

Some days I wake up and wonder if it was all a dream. Its hard to believe, sitting here at my new kitchen table, listening to the cicadas outside that I have ridden on the rooftop of a bus climbing the Himalayas, or watched as mourners follows a funeral procession through the streets of Varanasi. The scents and smells of a Cambodian marketplace, all fish sauce and ice and cheap polyester, the way the sky looked from my apartment in Melbourne, seem like dreams as unreal as any I have at night.

This is the trip in travel. It’s a bit surreal.

Plans…. Where we go from here? It’s hard to say, we don’t yet know ourselves. At the moment we need rest, which is proving hard to come by with a busy summer social calendar, and money, which given the state of the American economy, is also a bit of a challenge. It looks like we intend to stay in one place for a while to attempt to invest ourselves in projects that will take a few years to really show their merit.

Some of those projects are related to travel, some are completely different. Stay tuned to this blog for updates. If you are just joining us now, please, feel free to start the story at the beginning.

I do know that despite my best intentions to love being home I’m already scanning the articles on travel websites and the perusing guidebooks in the local bookstore.

Somebody once said that their favorite place part of travel was imaging the next country and planning the next trip. I second that.

Because really, the trip never stops, the trip is life. The journey will continue. Travel on.