Sometimes I overestimate how far I need to go to feel like I’m getting away.
I’m a 10 minute walk from my home, watching a friend’s house and dog while she’s away. Her house is a million times cleaner than mine, and being around a dog again is refreshingly heartwarming (sorry, cats). I’ve done pretty much all the same things I would have done today, were I living in my own home, but it’s been subtly different.
The walk to the sticky bun shop was shorter, as was the walk to the bank, and the cafe, and the yarn store. I explored less common routes, and got to know some new back lanes. My eyes were open and ahead of me, and I saw parts of my neighbourhood I hadn’t seen in years. It was almost like walking through a new city.
I put most of the trappings of my spare-time activities into a duffel bag, and it’s remained mostly untouched. I’ll always pack more notebooks than socks when I’m planning to be away, but while I’m gone, I realize that I prefer clean feet and curiosity to scarcity and studiousness.
I’ve also committed to being unconcerned – as much as I can muster, at least – with what happens after I go home. There’s a specific shift in perception that happens on vacations, or trips away from home.
In normal home life, time is simply linear, and the future is always five steps ahead of me, demanding my attention. In vacation away life, time is parenthetical. There’s a small chunk of it that I’m concerned with, the length of the journey, and then, at most, a small chunk of the immediate return mixed in. But my thoughts of the future aren’t as much stress and plans, but wishes, dreams, and possibility.
Tomorrow, at some point – I still haven’t figured out the exact transition point yet, because hey, that can wait ’til morning – I’ll switch back to living in my own home for a while. I hope that even after returning to my own common ground, I can hold on to a souvenir, a bit of fresh air in my headspace. After all, isn’t that the point of a tiny escape?