This is all starting to look familiar …

Posted on
Feb 18, 2010
Posted in: Random Musings

I am really, really tired. We got back into town about three hours ago from our Glasgow/London trip, and I am doing my best to fight off sleep – it’s not quite 8 pm on Wednesday, and I can’t really justify going to bed now, even though, as I type this, my eyes will barely focus.

So you’ll have to forgive me for the utter lack of photos and grammar in this post. Like I said, I’m tired. We haven’t been home in a week, and the house looks just as we left it. The over-ripe pears I forgot on the counter are a little closer to becoming sentient, but that’s about it. We’ve been traveling to the point that I begin to forget what it’s like to be home – everything around me looks vaguely familiar, but before I get too comfortable, we’ll be off again.

Of course, the same could very easily be said about the places we visit, too.

It’s a crazy thing, when places that aren’t home (by any stretch of the imagination) begin to feel warm and inviting. I love how a room at the Hilton is a room at the Hilton – whether you’re in New york or Chicago or London or Glasgow. And how, even after only two days at the same breakfast buffet, I fall into a pattern and pick out the exact same things.

I’m a creature of habit, and while I love trying and seeing new things, what I love perhaps even more is when those new things become beloved familiar things. How I rather inexplicably love the Dorothy Perkins store near the Tottenham Court tube stop on Oxford Street – even though, to the best of my understanding, it’s an unexpected hybrid of Ann Taylor Loft and Wet Seal.

Or how I always eat at the same damn sandwich stand at the San Diego airport, and always order the same thing (tomato, basil, mozzerella) to the point that the lady who works there has started to recognize me.

It makes me wonder: am I cheating? When new becomes old, when the unfamiliar becomes familiar, do I then lose touch of what makes travel special?

Perhaps a little. But then I see something I’m sure I’m never, ever seen before (and will likely never see again):

I ... I got nothing.

I ... I got nothing.

And I remember that being comfortable, feeling at home, and hell, even remotely understanding what’s going on? It’s all over-rated. Sometimes seeing young men in kilts playing music outside a terrible U.S. chain restaurant is far, far better.

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  • I think it’s pretty normal to seek out those experiences that have enough familiarity about them to make us comfortable wherever we are. It’s a rare personality type that avoids them (the kind of people who climb mountains just because they’re there) and even then I’ll bet there is some aspect of the experience that is familiar by design (equipment they’ve used before, a support team of close friends)…..

    But DEFINITELY seeing young men in kilts is far, far better than most things. Sigh.

  • Oh my. No, that’s not something you see every day.

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