If you come with me all your sorrows will be
As far away as they were when you were young
And if you cross this sea all the salt you will need
Will be in the palm of your hand
And all the things that you thought that you needed
Will be right back where you left them when you get home
I was thinking about these lines a lot last week after Dana and I returned to San Francisco. Coming home after months or years abroad always feels weird. You’ve changed — seen things, learned things, broken habits, grown — while your neighborhood remains the same. It’s comforting and disturbing at the same time.
Because after the elation of seeing friends and family, sleeping in our own bed and eating a couple burritos, you’re forced to ask yourself, do I still belong here? How can I go back to weekdays behind a desk when I know an exciting, novel life filled with exotic waves and wild animals is just waiting?
These daunting, first-world questions hang heavier with jet lag and fog. One of the ways we fought this travel hangover was by purging so many of the things that we thought that we needed that were right back where we left them when we got home. Clothes. Wetsuits. Knick-knacks we just couldn’t bear to part with before. Bags and bags of clutter went to Goodwill. It’s amazing the perspective you get from living out of a suitcase and traveling through impoverished areas.
So we feel a bit lighter now. Able to breathe. And thinking, perhaps, that we might need to shake the travel hangover with a little hair of the dog.