Where to be

For my first couple of decades, I barely moved beyond my suburb. Then came a period of travel mostly based around corporate work, travel in fine hotels. Finally there was a post-corporate time, the time of Big Years, when travel was an adventure.

Now puzzlement bugs me. We have just returned from a demanding fortnight: a few days with kin in Darwin, much joy with a granddaughter; a full-on camping/walking tour in a big bus with trailer, along with seventeen others; finally two nights at blissful Broome Bird Observatory. Five years earlier, I’d have sunk into the challenges and newness. This time, while there was much to savor and embrace, often I just wished to be home.

My confusion wasn’t unassisted. We had Covid just before flying out and toward the end of the bus tour, I flared with nasty cold symptoms, possibly Covid, maybe influenza. A couple of days and nights were miserable. In the past I’d have put up with discomfort, shrugged it off.

Now at home I begin the physical recovery. But I find myself grinning at just being here, at desk or in lounge or asleep in bed. Is this senescence? Or a profound shift in the notion of location. Certainly, climate footprint considerations have added pressures to live locally, but something deeper is brewing.

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