Why is it so damn hard to return home from a long journey?
Even though I have done long journey´s professionally for 35 years now, coming back from the latest one in Turkey was hard! My daughters and I spent two wonderful months cycling in this spectacular country. It was harder than ever coming back home!
In May I had a bad accident on the Greenland Icecap. See https://youtu.be/nmPvKslWZDs. I was lucky to survive, but ended up with a severe concussion. This happened two months before the planned departure for the Turkey cycling trip. I spent two months basically just sitting on my balcony outside my flat in the center of Malmö, Sweden, just surviving. Oddly enough once I got on the plane to Turkey, the concussion left me.
I mention this fact, because it made me realize even more than ever, how utterly important, simple and great life is on the road. May it be by bicycle, foot, horse, camel, skis or whetever means of transport.
I am back on the balcony now. The concussion has returned. Most likely because I miss travelling life that much. I am 60 years old now and I have had a great roller coaster life. The girls are in school. They are not suffering as bad as me, missing life on the road. They´re happy to be back with their friends, football and school.
My first thought from the balcony is that whilst travelling on a bicycle for example, one is always appreciated, in the center of attention and meeting the best of people. Once home, not even the neighbour asks what you have been doing this summer. The general kindness, generosity and warmth is pretty much gone. No interest. Nor capacity to understand. It used to bother me in my late teens, but not today. How could they relate or understand?
What I miss the most is the simplicity of life on the road. Your whole life is packed on a bike. or a donky. Or in your pulk. And living in a tent. Almost without exception I sleep very well. And feel rested even though I might only have picked up 5 hours of sleep. I love waking up at or 5. Listen to the girls sleeping, get out of the tent, start the stove, put on the kettle and most of the time, sitting sipping strong coffee either in my campchair or on the ground. This is pure bliss.
3-4 hours later, we are back on the road. At times either in unbearable heat or cold. It is all about moving forward. Lots of things happen all the time. An hour before sunset, time to figure out a camp. Best of all is freecamping somewhere in the wilderness. No one knows you are there. Just headlamps in the dark. Camp is put up, stove is running and when food is ready, eat in peace either by oneself or like in Turkey, with the daughters.
I love sitting in complete darkness for an hour or two before sleep, just exsisting. Listening to the enviroment. Pure bliss.
Of course, travelling with my daughters is the best. To see them grow as human beings, how they love this simple life and being with them in good and less good time, this is bliss too!
Once home, rigid school times, the force of society to be like everyone else, people´s ambitions to be better than the other, being completely anonymous and even that cup of coffee at 4 a.m -though exactly the same ingrediants- doesn´t taste as good as when on the road!
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Photo Copyright Sofie Rördam