Friday, July 8, 2011

Roaming Home

Travel is stimulating. We anticipate it with enthusiasm and reminisce our wanderings with longing to return. While roaming the country or traveling abroad, we admire what we may never see again and indulge in pleasures because they are distant from home and attractive because unfamiliar.

When roughing it, what would be a major nuisance at home becomes a rustic adventure. When taking in the city high life, the deafening hustle-bustle and stench of transportation fumes becomes the life pulse of sophistication and culture.

I heard a lecture in college about vacations. It was a natural resources class intended to help students understand how to design and enhance a national park for maximum vacation satisfaction. I've never forgotten several points. They explained how emotions impact vacation. Anticipation rises as the departure time nears. Pleasure has an early peak right after beginning a trip and then settles into a contented plateau. When nearing the destination excitement begins to rise again. The point of the lecture was learning how to design a facility or park to keep the excitement level at high enough peaks and plateaus that the visitor leaves feeling successful about the experience.

What I don't remember about it is when the allure of home kicks in. When does that desire peak and plateau? Can you quantify the longing and relief when home comes in sight?

I love vacations. I anticipate them, get immersed in them, and hope for them to last. But once I'm packed to leave, heading for the turf I know best, I'm also glad to be roaming home.

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