I once heard a tagline to a movie that went something like this: the greatest journeys are the ones that bring you home. In the context of the movie, it reflected the struggles and ultimate coming-of-age experience of a young man of Indian-immigrant parents. I’ve always been a sucker for movie trailers. Something about the grand scope of a preview, where you take a step back and see the big picture, one broad stroke of the story set to dramatic music (of course!) makes my creative spirit say YES! So it’s not unusual for quotes from previews to stick with me. This particular line is one that comes back to me again and again, especially whenever we travel. And although I’m not in the midst of a coming-of-age moment or haven’t even traveled all that extensively, I truly believe that the greatest adventures are the ones that bring you home, both literally and metaphorically.
If you’ve ever traveled with a baby, you may have enjoyed the unique experience, upon your return, of seeing a little soul recognize home. We recently came back from a trip that, although only 10 days long, was a record for our little guy. He was a great traveler and loved tasting new foods, exploring new spaces and listening to new sounds (hello Irish pub), but we could tell by the end, he was antsy for the old familiar (or more specifically, his toys and space to exercise his latest skill: crawling!). It was late when we landed in Minneapolis, probably about 10:30pm by the time we unlocked the front door. But the light of recognition that popped on in his tired eyes as I carried him through the house could mean only one thing: he was happy to be home. In his nursery I showed him his beloved cow painting on the wall, we played with the felt balls hanging from his mobile, and he lay down on the soft sheep skin we use on his floor. He kept looking at us with what I can only explain as Christmas-morning giddiness. Priceless. And all from seeing the familiar, from coming home.