When you gather up your gumption and step off the Reality Train, expect impressions and mindshifts to happen–especially if you’re returning to an idyllic place that’s been home before. Comparisons of “here vs there” are rampant, and ramp up as a more hectic reality looms.
Yes, too soon (as in tomorrow) it will be time to move on back to that bizzy place we call home. So I’m trying to slow down and relish these images and sensations. Isn’t that what travel’s all about?
Here, despite development, local color lives on. When a traditional Calypso band played for hours at a party, “here” was good for the ears. There, “auto-tune” and rappers who can’t sing pass for pop music. It’s little wonder that “I’m sad to say I’m on my way, won’t be back for many a day…”
Here, eating local means something. Like, goat, whelk, conch, lobster, funghi, peas and rice, and Johnny cake. There, eating local means…the closest Subway? Food tastes better when cooked outside or under ramshackle conditions, in hot pots, with a generous shake of tradition.
Here, one sees beauty, deep and natural. The environment is lush after autumn rains, while the sea swirls in endless colors. There, winter beauty means white snow, a crimson cardinal, and maybe a crisp blue sky.
Here, one notices beauty, skin deep and natural. There, a parka can’t be too thick or too ugly. Here, a swimsuit can’t be too skimpy. It’s freeing to see every body comfortable in their skin—grandpas playing smashball, eco-nerds dancing, and all kinds of folks relaxing on the beach.
Here, the weather has many moods. It’s not always sunny, warm and comfortable—just most of the time. There, it’s not always snowy, cold, and uncomfortable—just most of the time.
Here, there’s space to explore freely. There, we worry about promptness, parking spots, and good grades—while digitalia and Facebook steal ever-more time and space. Absent that stuff—and fences and walls and rulebooks—most kids would rather groove with a starfish.
Here, creativity happens. There, creativity means juggling routines, coaching homework, and concocting dinner from leftovers. Here, art abounds, color leaps around, and locals can’t resist turning a “Hill” sign into a “Chill” sign. It’s contagious; soon sand becomes a medium, and any scene seems inspirational.