Wow, it's been I while since I did the last one of these. More than I would have liked, but I was busy on vacation. It's funny how time changes when you travel.
At home I feel like my days stretch on - that if I really wanted to, I could make time so that I could do anything. I routinely do this, shuffling things around so I'm able to try out that new video game or watch an hour long video essay I've been waiting for. It's so easy to conjure time out of nothingness.
Everything is different when travelling. Somehow, the days fly by without even trying to. Looking back, I did have a decent amount of downtime on the trip, but none of it encouraged productivity. Either I didn't have my laptop, or I was tired, or it was loud, or I expected to soon be interrupted.
I guess this makes me realize how lucky I am that I have a safe and serene environment around me that I can mold to my liking. I didn't always have this, especially when I was younger and didn't know how to channel my focus and had to negotiate time with others. It's kind of like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, writing and maintaining something like this can only happen at the top of the pyramid, after everything else is taken care of.
Travelling really does make you feel like your life is paused. I've gone on a multitude of short, one to two day trips and a couple of longer ones in the past of months. Being in a different environment makes me feel like a different person, and so when I'm away from home maybe, just slightly, I become somebody else.
I kind of feel like you could say this about a lot of areas at life. The person I am at work, the person I am at home, the person I am around friends, the person I am around family, all of them are slightly different. All are still me of course, but different facets of who I am.
It was definitely nice to be away for a little bit and try on a different part of myself. I guess that's stereotypically why a lot of people travel isn't it? To get away from their lives, to get away from themselves. Luckily that's not it for me, I happen to love my life. I think it's better to travel to get to something rather than getting away from something.
You know, it's nice to be writing these again. I never know what words I'll fill this page with until I start writing. In fact, I'm always a little apprehensive to be honest. Producing 1000 words all in one go isn't easy, especially when you always jump in head first without any sort of plan. They say it gets easier, and to be fair I think it has gotten a little easier, but not as quickly as I'd hope.
Perhaps I've just lost a little bit of momentum after my weeklong break. I guess that's partly because of who the travel version of me is. At home, living on my own, I spend a lot of time thinking and musing which eventually trickles down into become word vomits like these, usually because I don't have anywhere else to keep all these stray thoughts.
When traveling, it's not as easy to fill up my idea jar. Either I'm too busy doing stuff, or too tired from doing so much stuff, or figuring out more stuff to do; there's not much time to dedicate to writing. Unless I have the core of an idea in advance that I can build around, like I did with my Notes on Karachi post, there's just no time to sit and summon any writing into existence.
There's always a certain amount of whiplash that happens during traveling as well. Arriving at the destination, no matter how tired I am, is always a little jarring because it's like the previous me who existed up until 5 minutes ago is obliterated by sense of newness at the destination. And, after getting back home, despite wanting to jump right back into my routine and minimize wasted time it's not so easy to adjust. I guess this is a blessing, that no matter what we want our feelings will linger.
Ok, lets go over the pillars by which I anchor myself to my at home life. I'm back into the habit of watching an episode of a TV show each night with dinner, which I always look forward to. I'm really enjoying cooking as well, which I haven't gotten a chance to do for a week.
You know what. What I've been missing the most, what separates the home me from the family me is the sense of control. Not that it's a bad thing to relinquish that sometimes, but I think I've realized that's the big difference. I've made so many decisions over the past few days - I'm buying things and making plans and picking my videos and music and podcasts.
It's intoxicating. Invigorating. Difficult, but rewarding. It's nice to experience something that's different from this, but also nice to get back to - I wouldn't have things any other way. For a lot of my life I wished that I had more control over what I did, and now I've managed to reach a point where I have exactly that. All the control I could wish for.
I'm not sure if I'd ever want this to change much. Now that I'm imagining it, it's hard to think what it might be like. After all, I didn't quite put my finger on what was different until after I returned from my trip and had a chance to introspect.
This also put into clarity why writing is valuable. Putting things into words that otherwise would have remained a vague miasma of feelings and sensations in my brain. Letting me poke and prod at half formed ideas until they are forged into beautiful words. Plus, it's fun.