Travel at Home

I see you. I feel you. How are you? We are experiencing a rare phenomena right now, no matter who you are or where you are. We are all in a similar boat moored in the harbor. There is a raging invisible storm and the harbor is the safest place to be. We will always have our differences, it makes the world go ’round, but for once we have more in common with our similarities. Why? We are homebound. As we go into the third Covid wave of the year, we are back to being mostly at home, dancing with the unknown and the political situation is putting unrecognizable icing on the cake. What do we do?

We are part of the shifting dynamic of the world. There are ways to meet this. The first thing to do is not shut down, but to bear witness to our reality. The reason we travel is to experience awe, a sense of open dimensionality. The world is bursting at the seams creatively and sometimes it’s hard to absorb the beauty and fullness of it all. Even if we are feeling claustrophobic, the world still offers itself to us. Now we are homebound and I know for myself, it’s been a challenge because for me the world is “out there”. I’ve been infused with culture on a daily basis for years. Searching for it high and low at home took a while to see. It is much more subtle. It’s a huge adjustment for us all and so easy to fall into despair. We must make a cozy nest and learn how to deal with groundlessness, with not knowing. We start by taking care of ourselves and each other. It may be simply wearing a mask. The tendency is to want to over indulge as it’s just all too much, but in fact, this is the most important time to pay attention and keep ourselves in good health, body, mind and spirit. There is an undeniable focus inward right now and we mustn’t be afraid. Get to know yourself in a different way as if you are a guest in a foreign country. Take up a new interest or an old one that you never have time for. Do some writing. Learn how to meditate. It loosens the grip of worry and relaxes our state of mind. Since we can’t travel, It’s fun to watch foreign films and try recipes from those countries. I’m compiling recipes finally, from all the places that I have been going for so long. I also find it a rare time to lay my old burdens down and take a good look at how I want to live my life post-Covid. The world will be a much different place. I will be less likely to take travel for granted. I am integrating a sense of engagement here at home, instead of trying to escape it.

We can observe the light shining through the window and falling where it may. We can be more thoughtful about what we eat, taking time to set our tables. All of these notions are antidotes that foster appreciation. And most of all, pace yourself on the news. Take more baths if you can and learn to surf the waves of change. It’s keeping us on our toes and hanging ten. One minute it’s thrilling, the next minute terrifying. Then we realize that we are not alone. I’m starting to relax. I listen differently.

This time of year as we ease into winter, we can contemplate just how much there is to be grateful for. We can still “give thanks” even if we are not able to be with our families. There are a few sacrifices worth making. let’s count our blessings.There is always something to be grateful for.

As a culinary adventurist, I fall back on my experience in food. This is where I find comfort, especially at home. I savor all the delicious memories of my travels and I entertain myself endlessly. Sobering time to say the least. Yet, I see your pain and I raise you mine. Let’s dance and learn how to navigate this time intelligently. We will travel once again and look back on this and wonder if it was dream. Who’s to say we are not in one?