We're nearing our sixth week on the road and almost every week, we find ourselves departing and arriving. Arriving is often discombobulating, especially when it happens at night which we try to avoid though so much of life is simply out of our control.
Arriving to a new town has a sweetness to it. There are a handful of times in my life, after I'd become familiar with the place I was living, that I would recall the earliest moments of my arrival. It felt like a dream that was mildly askew from reality. The smell, feel and sense of the place shifted ever so slowly over time that when this deja vu-like sensation flooded my mind, it took me out of time and into a foggy, fantastical place of recollection. I suppose that moment is the merging of the known and the unknown. The merging of assumption and reality. And the merging of ignorance and experience.
Arriving is also laden with the excitement and anxiety of the unknown. The stories, news and outsider rumors of a place more prevalent than reality. It is easy to feel nervous, as everything feels strange. My mind wants so badly to attach to something—to figure out who I am by the countless ways I can tether myself to invisible strings abundant in a place of complete unfamiliarity. I imagine how we must appear to locals when we arrive. Hair a mess, and depending on how the long the journey was between our most recent departure and this arrival, our faces clearly showing exhaustion and confusion.
On the road, the merging of the foreign and the familiar comes weekly, if not daily. If you could see us when this moment washes over us, you'd notice an elongating of our backs and broadening of our shoulders. You'd see a slight curl in the corners of our eyes as a smile uncovers our feeling more confident in our skin. And you'd be warmed by a general softness in our presence.
And just as soon as this comforting familiar feeling comes, it fades as we untether in our departure to the next unknown place.