I’m not sure leaving a country has ever hurt so much. Not even Donald Trump can take the gloss off that. At the end of August I left Paris and flew into the States for the first time in 12 years. For the road trip of a lifetime. Only it will not be for a lifetime. It’s just the beginning, I hope, of an ongoing trip. I can’t even begin to sum up the amount of joy – non stop, immense, intense, eye-opening and deliriously ecstatic travel joy, this trip gave me. All I can try to do in return is convey, as I endeavour I guess to do through all my writing, the joy of travel, in the hope that it might be contagious. So let the great American Road Trip begin … In the next post! My heart aches … Sure I’ve had trouble settling back home before. But NEVER never like this. I feel a piece – a big piece of me – lots of pieces – were left behind. I guess the pain is coming from the realisation that after living in France (on and off) for 18 years, I no longer want to be here. Just 10 months after buying my own first Paris pad – my own pad anywhere in the world. In many ways I feel I was made for the road. But I sure feel at home in the US. So much at home – I feel homesick to the core. And I’m hoping I can alleviate some of that yearning with writing. Writing therapy. Good for so many things – and I’ve been way too long away from the computer. That said, I’d rather be back behind the wheel of my jeep and on the road again!
My trip actually started in LA (and then went a bit AWOL for a few days) … and I will also post soon on that amazing city of southern light. I’m not sure why I’ve somewhat randomly chosen this image for now – from LA, and it’s disneyesque glittery side – but probably because it too captures the joy of a frolic. A total spontaneous drenching in life.
No matter how long you frolic for – in fantasy or reality – or an overlap of the two (for isn’t that always the case, and so subjective), setting yourself free brings movement, change, ecstasy, insight and delight – and wondrous, life-changing encounters. For the photographer too. Just look at the photo by Dorothea Lange I’ve used as the feature image, taken probably somewhere not far from Route 66, nearing LA, in the 1930s.
Of course it’s doubtful they or any of their mates could have afforded a train ticket on the Southern Pacific, nor taken the time out to relax. For some 2.5 million people abandoned their homes in the South and the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression years.
For that, I feel even more lucky to have done the trip – and seen what I have – in the conditions I did. Travel nor freedom should ever be taken lightly. The more you appreciate every second of it, the more you will enjoy it.