Reality: Are we there yet?

Reality: Are we there yet?

This morning, someone posted the following on Facebook, after returning from several days in Europe: “Back to reality.”

I’ve heard the exact same phrase, so many times, from so many people. Heck, I’ve said it myself— but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t thinking about the implication inherent in those three little words.

Now that I am thinking about it, I’d say, right off the bat, that we say “back to reality”, usually accompanied by heavy sighs and eye-rolling, without being aware of what we’re actually saying, body language and all: we’re implying that, when returning from a trip, our reality is not something we want to get back to, aren’t we? (I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anyone jump for joy as they say, “Oh good! Finally! Back to reality!” Nope, don’t think so.)

For me, traveling is not so much about being temporarily in a different reality, as it is about altering my current reality. Think about it: when you go away, even to a place you’ve never been before, you take your self with you; you may be a different self while you’re away, experiencing new things, but you’re still yourself. And when you come home, what? You somehow go back to who you were before your trip? I don’t think that’s even possible; traveling always transforms us, whether or not we’re aware of it. So how can we ever really go “back” to anything? Read more