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The Vacationer’s Return to Reality

There's always a disconnect between real life and reality when you're talking about two separate instances. In one, you're lounging at the foot of a beach, waves lapping at your toes, the sun baking you to a nice golden brown. In another, you're hastily preparing dinner for a crew of people who might not even eat. And finally, you're in a car, driving home against the backdrop of a setting sun, searching for a perfect spot for a quick dinner before the long haul back to the city, and away from what, in the last twenty-four hours, was your whole life.

Lano Beach - Savai'i

Lanoa Beach, Samoa. No, I did not go here. Taken from Wikipedia.

Life happens in snippets. We don’t always remember them, and we don’t always notice the transitions. Mostly because we’re usually traveling during these transitions. That commute to work separates home life and work life. That trek to your girlfriend’s house is a return to one of your realities. And stepping out of that car, or jeep, or tricycle, is like crossing over the threshold of these transitory things, and placing yourself, in situ, in another reality. Another day, another snippet.

You can only notice these transitions when you’re in a situation that’s alien from what you call your norm. For the laid-back homeboy, traveling to the beach involves switching the regulated pace of living at home for the frequent, but enjoyable, transitions between your abode by the sea to the sea itself. We don’t realize it because this is exactly what we came here for, and it’s not part of our routine, but this routine once again separates the homeboy’s realities into two. The alien nature of these two new realities, however, disconnects him from the reality he knows to be his.

For the adventurer, the workaholic, a day spent at home, traveling from room to room, might be considered to be another disconnect.

And when, finally, we are in that long transition away from the pocket universe of reality called a vacation, we suffer a wave of nostalgia, longing, and regret. The taste of a new reality different from ours is intoxicating, is invigorating, even. The ride back home is quiet, subdued, as we recharge our spent energies, reflect on the events of the twenty four hours, and prepare ourselves for our return back to the reality we envision as ours.

And, upon coming back, we realize that we haven’t really ever left.

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