I was on the bus around winding Portuguese hill roads, beside a rail with a cart taking cut branches, beside terracotta roofs, and in a kind of desperation finding myself very tedious company. I wondered, if I knew I would return home just the same as I left, would it still be worth it. Yes, I realised. Each day would have no value but the place, the time. I could just be on a bus in Portugal on the other side of the world, and that could be enough.
As the road wound around itself, I realised I’m still the same person as I was when I went traveling at 21, and used to find light simply by realising the fact that I was on the other side of the world. There are lines in the Jack Johnson song Same Girl, I know you’re still my same girl / Who builds her own frames / For the pictures that she paints / The lights of Monterey / Come in across the bay / Right back to my same girl. I talked to my parents on Skype and something I take for granted is not something my parents ever demonstrate, and maybe not something I once believed. But everything I was and am is here.
I read a quote, A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it, George Moore. It’s not just home that I get sick for, it’s the sense that home contains everything, after all. The train passed apartment blocks with lines of household laundry strung below the windows.
The wind was around the cliffs, hazy. I’m organising a trip to a wedding of a friend I knew from university, from a time I often think of as most dynamic, and the prospect of a reunion is like a door.