Waiting to go home is always the hardest part of travelling.
I’m writing these words from a sunny terrace overlooking a hotel swimming pool in Sant’Agnello di Sorrento. Tomorrow I’ll be writing different words from an untidy desk at my office in Salford back in the UK. The buzz of Vespas and the aroma of lemon trees will feel much further away than the facts of geography dictate.
We’ll be leaving this afternoon, taking a coach back to Naples airport. And I can already feel my heart’s weight growing heavier at the thought of it. Returning to reality always stings. Even while I’m still here, trying to open a box labelled “Sorrento” in my mind, cramming it full of countless sounds and sights and smells, I’m struggling not to think about the 1001 things I’ll inevitably need to do when I get home.
How many emails will I have to answer? Will any bills have landed in the letter box? Did I leave any wet washing in the machine? I’ve only been gone a week, yet it might as well have been a year. But such is the beauty of part-time travel for me. It means switching off from my real life completely and enjoying every second of a trip with total carefree enjoyment.
I often wonder whether travelling full-time and trying to sustain a living whilst doing so would change the travel experience for me. I’m convinced that it would, which is precisely why I don’t do it. Instead, I work a full-time job with all the usual worries that come with it. But when evening comes, I get looking and get booking for my next day, weekend or fortnight of pure bliss. It’s what makes the working week worthwhile, and now that I think about it, leaving this place behind doesn’t make me feel quite so sad.
I’m going back to the job that keeps me travelling. What’s so bad about that?