Travel is wonderful and practically everyone I know is doing it. Whether to other countries or neighboring states, travelers are once again on the move, expanding horizons – and spirits. Our freedom to roam the earth was for a time curtailed and now, with global borders flung wide open, wanderlust seems to be the new contagion. A reclaimed freedom to move has fevered humanity’s primal desire to explore the planet. And in this freedom, we see that we are more alike than we are different.
But, for all the wonders of the world – its vibrant cultures, ancient cities, majestic mountains and sparkling seas – perhaps the very best thing about travel is. . . returning home. After more than two weeks traipsing Europe, arriving on US turf at JFK swelled my heart with an astonishing degree of patriotism. I mean, I’ve always loved my country and all – and I especially love my home in the Wasatch mountains – but this was next level. It’s not the first time I’ve traveled out of country and returned, glad to be home. But this time, gratitude filled every corner of my being for days that followed. After 22 hours of travel, arriving home to the bugling elk and cool, pine-scented air at 8000′, I laughed – then cried. Not from exhaustion (though I am willing to admit maybe that played a part), but from the pure joy of being Home. And it wasn’t just me, my partner and each of my four grown-men kids reported similar emotional experiences.
“What is different?” I mused while toppling into fitful jet-lagged slumber. Is it because, like barn-sour horses, we became so dangerously comfortable with the home front during the past two and a half years that all we wanted was to be back? Or. . . maybe it’s just that that (political and societal drama aside), we are reminded that we live in one of the most magnificent places on this vast and fascinating planet. Either way, it’s good to be home.
Hope to see you out there exploring the trails soon!