Being Here Somewhere Else
Gertrude Stein wrote... "There is no there, there."
This idea rolls around in my head often, particularly in reference to travel.
I love to travel to new places and have new experiences but often the looked forward to destination doesn't quite live up to the expectation...
To the point that I sometimes wonder if I enjoy the anticipation more than the actual travel.
Know what I mean?
A big element of the attraction of travel is 'getting away from it all'... The escapism factor. Underpinned by the notion that it's going to be so much better THERE than HERE.
The key, I've discovered is to truly enjoy the new here... Which most likely is completely different from the anticipated experience, and potentially not that different to the present... After all, you're still there! The same you - with the same thoughts, concerns, worries, hopes and dreams. The only difference is the backdrop.
And yes that's a risk... Holidays and travel can end up being simply the same old in a different place, hence the well worn expression: 'It takes me x-days to unwind'.
But if you can manage to stop and notice, you'll find that whilst there isn't the expected 'there' there; a fresh 'here' is waiting to be discovered.
That new here is generally not about big events or landmarks. It's about moments.
And they're delicate little suckers that can quickly slip through your fingers if you're not paying careful attention.
A few weeks ago we secreted away to Byron Bay for a one night mini getaway with the kids.
And what I got a keen sense of this trip, perhaps because it was so brief, were those little moments that make up the true 'here' of being there...
Opening the door to the motel and watching the boys run in excitedly to discover each corner and jump on the beds.
Feeling cooler air in my nostrils as the sun set over a different ocean.
Watching the boys climb banksia trees.
Walking down the main street, with no fixed destination or purpose, seeing new people, my man's arm around my shoulders, the boys flitting ahead from curio to curio.
A Japanese traveller, mesmerisingly passing a crystal ball between his hands as though it defied gravity. My six year old giving him the change from his ice-cream and begging me to ask him if it was stuck to his hand.
My eight year old turning himself inside out with excitement at the simple joy of being allowed to stay up late to watch Lord of The Rings.
Waking up in the morning to the very first rays of a new day through a different window.
The boys putting their heads up with a mixture of enthusiasm and foggy half-sleep at my nudge, asking them if they wanted to watch the sun rise.
Walking on the beach at dawn with the kids, feeling warm and snug under layers, with the chilly winter air turning our cheeks and noses pink.
Watching the boys running on the beach, stopping to look at shells, crabs and footprints in the sand; enjoying the newness and the otherness of somewhere else and an unexpected start.
And then, after a chilly wander down the deserted, windy main street in shadow, rounding a corner to a sun-kissed street, an open cafe and the smell of coffee.
Sitting down, ordering brekky and enjoying the sun on our backs.
And the decadence of ordering second coffees while the boys drew on the sidewalk with chalk.
Those were the moments that made up the there of being here somewhere else.
>>> Leonie Orton is a writer, editor and marketing communications consultant. She'll create communication mediums in the shape of words, graphics and webs for your business, connecting you with the people who need you. Get in touch by email, facebook or twitter. And if you're not already signed up for new writings and special offers, get hooked up here.