If Home Is Where the Heart Is... Why Can't I Wait to Leave It? | San Diego Lifestyle Photographer

The April Creative Mornings lecture by Gary Ware about the importance of play into adulthood, made me think of a conversation I had with one of my good friends and fellow creatives. We were discussing why we enjoyed and crave travel...or being away from home for any reason. When "home is where the heart is," where your family is, and a refuge for the chaos of everyday life; why am I always in such a hurry to leave it. I'd rather sleep in an unfamiliar bed in another city than on my mattress that has molded itself to fit me just so.

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"As cliché as it sounds, I want to feel small."

I think for me, it comes down to the way I travel. When I leave home on an extended vacation or a weekend getaway, you won't find me sleeping the day away in a hotel bathrobe ordering room service... or lounging by a pool with a swim up bar. Okay, wait a sec, that last bit actually sounds pretty awesome. Truth is, I can be lazy. I'll sit by the pool and people watch or read a book with a mai tai, but only for like, a day. I want to see people who actually reside in the country I'm in, I want to see things and landscapes different from what I see every day. To put it in a very cliché way, "I want to feel small" as my friend pointed out during this conversation.

Why is that constant moving and stimulation what I crave when others normally take a break to physically rest and recharge? Sure, part of me is doing it for the stories. I want to come home with funny tales about sharing a table with a group of flirty Italians at Oktoberfest; 6 people piled into the worlds tiniest SUV and driving 231 miles of the southern coast of Iceland in 36 hours; or singing along to live covers of Purple Rain and Galway Girl in a random pub in Dublin with your best friends. 

Yes, the memories are an important part, but there's something else.

See, my friend and I classify ourselves as over-thinkers. We are very much in our own heads and obsess over things that in the long run don't matter. It's really hard to worry about whether or not your made the right choice making a career change in your 30s when you're standing over a waterfall that is 66 ft wide and 1.6 miles long with enough force to drown out every conversation around you. Or care if an acquaintance misinterpreted the text you sent because of how difficult it is to imply tone; when you're standing at the rubble of a wall that once divided a city. 

This might sound like I'm trying to escape my problems and responsibilities. Shoving them in the trunk of denial, ignoring them for as long as possible. No, really what I'm trying to do is put those nagging worries of old arguments and past decisions in perspective. Travel is my version of the "play" that Gary discussed in his lecture. You're never more "in the moment," than when you're trying to navigate a city you've never been to while driving on the "wrong" side of the road. It's humbling to be reminded that your story is just a small footnote in the volumes of the world's history. So turn off your brain and let it rest for goodness sake! It'll do you some good!

Hugs & High Fives,

-A