How to return home after travel and be happy!

Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went.
John Updike

That’s such a downer of a quotation, as we head into summer, and most of us are planning our beach holiday! March has gone out like a lamb, at least in London, and April is proving to be more than beautiful making us yearn to go outside and explore.

Sometimes venturing out of the house is not as futile as John Updike makes it sound. There’s the thinking that if you sow your seeds somewhere the first time, you get to see them bloom the next time you venture outside your door.

I feel the benefits of return travel are never lauded enough. When people ask me how I can keep going back to Venice, I really never know how to respond. “Why wouldn’t I want to go back” is my usual retort? You get to dig beneath the surface. Just because you’ve already seen the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto and San Marco, doesn’t mean you’ve seen everything. You can fall in love with, not Rick Steves’s Venice, the Luxe Guide’s Venice or even Best Bits’ Venice, but your own Venice.

Sorry for the tiny digression about return travel — that was not at all what Mr. Updike was talking about in his gloomy quotation. His question would be, “Why bother going at all when you always have to return to the crappy home you left in the first place.” Of course, it’s all a state of mind and depends on what you are leaving behind before you go.

In my routine, as a travel writer, I am constantly traveling somewhere and then returning. No one ever asks me to write about how I felt when you returned home. They just want to read “It was my first time in A NEW CITY and I loved it!!!! Not “well, actually when I returned home I loved sleeping in my own bed” or “it was so great not to have to pack and unpack every day.”

It’s always assumed that the traveling bit is the bit worthy enough to write about — not the staying home. Those days at home can be just as exciting as going off to visit parts unknown, but it’s how you look at it.

I have written here before about how to make travel exciting — even when you’re staying home and I hope that helps a bit. I am lucky enough to live in an exciting, vibrant city, so coming home to London is never a hardship, but it shouldn’t matter.

There truth be told — it’s all about depends whether you a glass half-empty person or a half full?

Me telling you to start being the glass half-full sort of person is never going to work. Until you see what you got instead of what you don’t have, nothing is going to work. You have to want to find those things that can make you love coming home to the mess you left and then we can prove Mr. Updike wrong.


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