Far or near, it is the act of leaving that decides our destinations. It is the resolve to get up and go, hit the road and on to catch the next bus, train or plane. Or, simply to walk or to drive, away and yonder. It could be a short or long cruise, depends.
The departure may mean a going away for good. It could also be a temporary journey, with an earnest promise to to return – at some hour, some day, some year. Revolver, as they say in Spanish. To return, to make one full turn.
We could be touring on business, to return on the same evening. We could be travelling on some weekend errands, to visit a sick relative, perhaps? It could be a quick get-away, to a beach in the countrysides, enough to rest and to laze around, before the usual Monday grind.
We could be leaving for an important conference, one that lasts several days. Or, our going-away could be for a week, to iron out a dispute or to close a deal. It could be for a month, to finally enjoy the awaited vacation, a sojourn abroad. It could as well be for years, to try and fit into a new life. To improve one’s chances, as people often say.
Our going away could be propelled by someone or something being after us, or, us being after someone or something. A relationship gone sour, a dream to chase or a longed-for reunion. It could be a mission to put back the missing parts, to pave the healing process or to close the gap, between and among people who’ve been years, distance and time apart.
To forget what hurts, to break new grounds or to find new fate, going away could serve one or all. To start anew or simply, to allow oneself to grow. Travel enables us to turn over a new leaf, as the saying goes. In another setting, positively. Why, it seems an excursion to a new place permits another view. The next turn may not be the one we’ve been used to, but leaving helps us proceed and do.
A trip maybe planned or hurried, with a fixed destination or no. It maybe solitary or with a companion. It could be a flight in the wee hours or a happy excursion at the break of day. It could be an expedition borne by necessity or driven by mere fancy. Could as well be a sojourn prearranged days and months ahead, or, simply a meandering – a leisure trip with no clear intent.
Sometimes, we go away with a chaotic mind. Sometimes, with a clear head and a determined heart. Whether accompanied to the platform or to the station by our dear ones, or, embarking on a solo trek, we depart in pursuit of new grounds. To leave, to go, to live – to a world unknown and unexplored.
Leaving surely makes us uncomfortable at first. Heck, it may even hurt. We are so intimate with the familiar – the nooks and the corners, the warm relationships and the predictable routines. Oh, the sheer consistency lulls us into staying where we are. Do we want to be disturbed? Shall we go on away and afar to disturb other places, other people? Say, we’re so used to our lives spinning in the same old rhythm and manner.
But just the same, going away may just be the excuse we’ve been waiting for, the break we’ve been pining for and the chance we’ve been wishing for. Might it not expand horizons, broaden narrow views or dust off rusting beliefs? We’ll never know, until we try. In the meantime, it might just be the short-term remedy for all the headaches and confusions from all the usual spinning.
When taking the first few steps of our journey, we usually give the familiar place a quiet embrace or a warm, enveloping stare. There’s that chance, we may never pass this way again.
For better or for worse, with a light or heavy heart, we sling that backpack, lift that duffel bag or pull that suitcase and off, we go.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
– T.S. Eliot