Was my bed always this comfortable? I sink back into the feathery plush and stretch my extremities as far as they can extend as if I’m desperately trying to reach something on the top shelf at the market. My cool feet burrow into the heavy duvet. The Columbus streets below are quiet and dark and I graciously welcome sleep.
But there is much that I already miss. The undeniably fresh air blowing from the sea. My personal affinity for cold walks on the coast. The hum-hum and screech of the train into the city after trekking through peat-moss covered hills, left with embarrassingly muddy boots for the ride home. The secret coffee shop with its amicable owner, the orange and cranberry sponge cake that I am still thinking about, and the muffled chords of a band trying out a new tune over in the corner. And the mountains of potatoes available inside any pub. The Irish gin and the Irish sense of humor.
But that’s the joy about traveling, isn’t it? You leave pieces of your heart in so many places. But what if we could instead try to bring that experience home with us?
Previously I refused to ever return from a holiday without already having another trip booked. Sometimes I would have trips booked so closely together that I would just keep my suitcase packed as was. It was always a countdown to the next getaway, the next big thing. I was destined to be anywhere but home.
But home can be good too. It needs to be good.
Paradoxically, it was through travel to far off places that my eyes were opened to realize that there’s good everywhere you are, including home. It just took me a long time to see it. I think you have to be away from the familiar to be open to influence and change. To come home and walk through the world in a more deliberate way.
I want a little bit of everything, and not too much of anything. To never quite be full to my heart’s content. And instead of solving my whole life, maybe just changing my mindset instead. To focus only on the good everywhere I go. To see it in the every day. To watch my pile of good things grow.
It’s okay to throw caution to the wind and hop on an airplane to a far off destination. But it’s okay to come home too. You have to go away to remember how comfortable your bed is, to realize that there are neat little coffee shops in your neighborhood too, and if you’re especially lucky, you have a friend who knows how to perfectly replicate that orange and cranberry sponge cake.
Malinda Meadows is an Ohio native who was letting grief blanket her life
She found healing through traveling and nature. She discovered changes of location led to changes in her mindset. It helped her process grief and forge a new path with greater optimism and happiness. Realizing the benefit of deliberate change, she now leads a more balanced and mindful life inspired by simple changes.
She blogs regularly at malindainthesnow.com to help others find change, however small, outside their box in order to live a happier, healthier life.