So it's a slightly toned down blog this time. After all, it's not for nothing that this is the ‘candles, gifts, bells, Mariah Carey songs and fire in the grate time of year’.
But does anyone recognise that feeling you used to get coming back from a school trip or scout camp, or that first fantastic weekend away at the seaside with just your 15-year old hormonally charged friends (speaking hypothetically here) … that it's impossible to tell anyone what it was like. I can still remember now how it always used to irritate me when people asked, ‘So, how was your trip?’. For how can you describe that overwhelming feeling of what you'd shared in, what you'd seen, experienced, …, the countless possibilities opening up in front of you.
Honestly? I always get that feeling a little when I get back from a trip.
But, I've learned a trick… I have learned never to leave, but always to go somewhere.
For example, leaving Borneo around 3 weeks ago, where I met
inspiring, like-minded colleagues, picked up some brilliant ideas and some
amazing images burned into my retina, as I was on my way to Kuching Airport, I
was not leaving Borneo, I was just going on to a new destination, to some of the
same colleagues who were there two weeks later in Barcelona. And, more
importantly, I always reassure myself that I will go back.
It's a simple trick, but it works, it takes that pressure off.
Because - and I still struggle with this sometimes - despite being a very active traveller myself, I am always slightly jealous of people who tell me at a party they're off to Barcelona for the weekend in a week's time. Lucky so-and-so's I think to myself, forgetting I've only just come back from there. Or even worse, when I arrive in Brussels and have left the plane, and see the board starting to flash at the gate for a new group of lucky so-and-so's, I always look up with a slight feeling of anxiety to see the destination. If it's the same destination, I am somewhat mollified, since I've just been there myself. If it's a different destination, I always say ‘lucky so-and-so's’ to myself. I then tell myself as I wait to pick up my luggage that I must go back to Borneo as soon as possible. Not too hopefully, I have to say. My patient therapist is not too hopeful either…
I have now worked out a suitable response to the question,
‘So, how was your trip?’.
‘Good,’ I say.
‘Just good? Is that all you can say? After one week in Borneo?’, is the usual retort.
‘Very good, I definitely want to go back’, I then say, putting on my cute racoon face. And, to really kill it off I bring out my English quote, ‘the art of travelling is never to leave, always to go back’. At the same time, pointing my right index finger in the air, I then launch in with the clincher:
‘So, how has the weather been here?’
Until 2017, Jan