Whenever I see a plane fly by, I always wish I were on it. I don’t mean that I wish I could fly away from the place at which I’m standing. No, I’m not an escapist. But there is a hunger I feel in my gut–an incurable craving for going somewhere.
It doesn’t even matter where I’m going. It could be a brand new city, one I’ve been to before, or the place I call home. Every time I travel, a new way looking at my surroundings sneaks its way into my luggage.
Living in London means the countryside is infinite; Istanbul knows no such thing as personal space; and Chicago genuinely cares about everyone who steps foot within the city limits. While visiting each of these places, I compare things I see to the place I just came from and to the memories of everywhere I’ve been before that.
I recently spent some time in Chicago. Growing up a few hours away, I’ve visited this metropolis more times than I can count. It’s familiar, it’s homely, it’s mine. But this time around, I felt like a stranger. Since the last time I’ve been in Chicago, I’ve traveled to my fair share of foreign countries. Returning to the place I call ‘second-home’ means I have a whole new lens to look through.
Compared to my little hometown, I always thought Chicago was SO old. But after visiting the 6th century Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, I now know what ‘old’ is. And the evidence of London’s deep history makes its age impossible to ignore. Chicago now falls into a new category of old, one I just made up the other day. It’s a modern day, industrial old (it's a working title). I noticed details of the city I never saw before because this time around, I was redefining the city as I took it in. I was updating the color and realigning the details.
That’s the thing about traveling, I always end up tweaking what I thought I knew to be true. I can’t travel without changing a little bit.