Isolation and Travel

Traveling is an invigorating tonic. I’m fixing toast in the kitchen when suddenly, in my mind I am driving down a remote road in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as I did last fall. I see the trees rushing past, I hear the wind rocking my camper, and I feel as if I’m there.

The memories take me away from my isolation here. I’m transported to another time and place that seems almost real.

It can be disorienting. There were a few times while I was still regularly driving to see friends, when standing alone at home I wasn’t quite sure just where I was. I lost context. Which place was I in? That feeling would return at night, in bed in the dark, uncertain which room, which city, which state I was in.

Retired for years, not working or needing to leave my home, there should be no doubt exactly where I am at all times. Yet as my surroundings remain unchanged, my mind fights against it and carries me away to places far from here, places I once visited or wish I had, that seem in a way more real than the walls around me.

Did you ever stare motionlessly at something until its image starts to fade and you no longer can see it? It’s like that.

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