I awake startled, my heart pounding like tribal drums desperately trying to summon rain. My mouth is dry and my skin clammy. Two glazed eyes pop open reluctantly – where am I? Oh yeah I’m home – wherever that is. I check the clock and to my disgust it’s 4am again - no there’s no train to run for this morning.
When I catch a glimpse at the clock again it’s 10am. I scrape together the last few ‘coppers’ of energy to make a piping hot cup of tea and gaze out the window, with the intention of losing myself in the morning. My plan to hit the floor running has run out of runway.
It was always going to be a challenge: acclimatising back to life after being on the road for 5 weeks. And what a truly enriching and exciting 5 weeks it was. During the last few days of the trip something bizarre happened. I would be drinking in the sights and sounds, yet my body and mind would be completely numb.. not so much as a raised eyebrow in acknowledgement. Taking stock I returned home with a wallet full of currencies but I wasn’t rich in the traditional sense.
Speaking about it to some of my fellow ‘travellites’ I discover the condition has a diagnosis: travel numbness. The senses overwhelmed, start to shut down forcing you to process the events you’ve experienced. And such things do take time to process… sometimes you need a dark room to develop the negatives to see the bigger picture.
Since I arrived home over a month ago it’s been a struggle to get going. I can liken it to attempting to ride a bicycle whilst it’s still chained to the lamppost. I found myself at my desk and the piano trying unsuccessfully to write. Frustrated and dejected I gave up and settled for a long walk along the coast, hoping to find some solace in the crashing waves.
I have to say there is something majorly addictive about being lost every day - having a plan but ‘going with the flow’. In an attempt to break my writer’s block I drafted a personal letter to a friend – going through the motions came somewhat as a relief (perhaps the equivalent of a laxative for creatives). Could it be possible to have travel sickness when you’re home in the same sense you are homesick when you are away?
Sometimes words are not enough, pictures can’t paint a full story – not even a song can do it justice. You have to go out there and live it all over again differently in Technicolor and HD. And whilst I still have sand in my shoes in so many different ways – I have been taught a valuable lesson by recent events. Seize the day, make every day an adventure.
So where to now old chum?
#DiaryOfACreativeSoul coming soon…