Have you ever returned from a vacation and noticed things about home with new appreciation or even noticed things for the first time? This journey for us has been a series of one-way tickets and last week was our first “returning” experience in over 8 months.
We ventured back to the Molise region of Italy to complete our citizenship paperwork. When we arrived in Molise back in October, we were just beginning our wandering ways and we were trying to figure out language, and groceries and traffic laws.
This time, with a bit more confidence, we entered the region with our eyes wide open and the experience was completely different. We saw verdant fields carpeted with poppies. Bails of hay were perched on valley floors as if they had just rolled down on a hot summer day. Local cuisine, such as scamorza cheese and porchetta sandwiches tasted home cooked and comforting. How could something be so familiar and so new with every breath?
I realized that it is impossible to see the same place the same way twice because each time we venture, we grow and growth changes everything. Whether we travel from one destination to the next, or take a vacation and fly home, there is no returning. There is only ever forward movement. Perhaps that innate knowledge is what makes it hard to go sometimes.
I think at some level we know that nothing will be the same upon our return, including ourselves. There are always a million things that prevent us from “getting away” if we let them but when we do leave we realize growth is invigorating and scary and necessary AND it makes returning so much sweeter.