I’ve been back home about a week, and while I’m happy to smell the Washington woods, revel in the mountains’ fall colors, and reconnect with friends and family, my adventures already feel far off. The task now, as always after a return, is to keep my eyes calibrated to “seeing fresh” and my wonder close at hand, because I think the joys of travel are as much a function of attitude and approach than actual dislocation. After my African trips, I’ve had to keep telling myself, “see with Africa eyes” — because even roadsides I’ve seen a million times can be beautiful, if I remember to look as though I’ve never seen them before. That’s when I notice color and texture and detail that gets lost in familiarity and context.
No culture shock, somewhat to my surprise, except for one observation — boy, does the U.S. ever have WAY too many signs, billboards, signs, advertisements, and signs. It makes our urban landscapes a lot uglier than they need to be. Oh, well. Everywhere has something that requires active overlooking, I suppose.
I thought I’d post an “after” photo of my boots, expecting them to be in shreds after some 650 miles, but you wouldn’t see the difference from the “before” shot. I should probably to write Vasque and offer to do a commercial for them!
Onward, with farwalking feet and Africa eyes…