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The House of Belonging

Returning to the places we love is what drives us to travel. Unlike the impetus for adventure, or to get away to someplace new, returning fills a hunger that can only be satisfied by touching what you already know is true.

Unlike my guests who come to my programs for the first time, I make regular visits to these destinations to welcome them. Meanwhile, I am welcomed.

This last sojourn to meet the group in Morocco was a three-day feat. Iceland’s volcano put the squeeze on all of northern Europe closing down airports and all flights for what surely seemed like an eternity to the industry and was a nightmare for travelers stuck in-between. A wayward cloud of ash that could shift at any moment kept us all in suspense and second-guessing where it might go. Making alternative travel plans a game of chance. But when you “gotta go, ya gotta go” and you will do almost anything to get there.

There were marvelous stories of 5,000 euro taxi rides, boat trips, endless hours on trains if you were lucky enough to find a seat. My colleague Merete and I had our own dramas that involved juggling new flights only to find out they’d been canceled. Requiring large sums of cash and swelling stress to make expensive decisions, with moments to spare, that we might regret.

But by hook or by crook. You get on that plane. Continue reading…