Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Departures/Arrivals


Is it something in your soul, the desire to kick up life and wander in wonder?  Is it a universal ache like the search for love, or is it only for the privileged few (or the young) who find they’ve all they really need and so turn their heads to the rest of the world to see if their lives may be more interesting somehow if they could only have a piece of that too?  I can think back to specific years that were spent in spatial restlessness, exhausted by the all-consuming pull of wanderlust.  I wanted to be someplace else, perpetually.

It wasn’t only a love for travel, though that was instilled in my blood from an early time.  It was more like a yearning to escape.  My life was plentiful;  I had love, opportunity, education, friends, entertainment.  But behind it was always this itch to be in places and spaces where I could feel shaken and stirred.  When I would follow through and leave… and arrive… the shock would wear off and my relief would abate.  There was me, far and away, dealing with all of the same neuroses, just as unable to escape my flaws, as if I were at home.  It has taken years to recognize that it wasn’t any situation or plight I was trying to run away from, it was simply me.  If anything, foreign lands only magnified what I disliked in myself.  Ugh.  Here she goes again.  So gauche and out of place.  So controlling!  (read: anal retentive) Doesn’t she ever stop talking?  She eats too much.  Ugh.

It’s only in the last two years or so that I’ve noticed my feet are beginning to hold ground.  I still love travel and often think about what sorts of adventures I want to embark upon next, but what’s gone is the almost chemical need to leave.  Wherever I am.  I had been thinking that maybe it was all because I was younger and this is just how young people are, but I’m not sure that’s the case.  I’ve been surrounded in plenty of grounded youngsters who seem better able to enjoy their happiness in situ.  My theory now is that spending time alone without distraction is less terrifying to me.  My latent distaste for myself has given way to more patience and understanding.  I still think I’m too controlling, too resistant to change, talk too much.  But I can kind of shake my head at these things and forgive them, knowing that every day that passes I’m trying harder to work it out.  I can give myself a break rather than wanting a break-up.

This past April I flew to New York City for the Yoga Journal Conference.  I was eventually going to see a few people I knew, but I was feeling pretty adamant about one thing: I wanted to do a lot of this alone.  For the first time, my desire to go wasn’t sparked by a need to get away from myself but because I wanted some quiet time, a bit of lonely time actually, to spend with myself.  I wandered around lower Manhattan and drank up my solitude.  It did stir me up, in the way I’d always longed for, but I was finally in good company.

I think that when we feel that pull to escape, we are all looking for a very particular something that’s already well within our reach. And sometimes it may take longer to find than a flight to Australia.

Poetry of Departures by Philip Larkin

Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,
As epitaph:
He chucked up everything
And just cleared off,
And always the voice will sound
Certain you approve
This audacious, purifying,
Elemental move.

And they are right, I think.
We all hate home
And having to be there:
I detest my room,
It’s specially-chosen junk,
The good books, the good bed,
And my life, in perfect order:
So to hear it said

He walked out on the whole crowd
Leaves me flushed and stirred,
Like Then she undid her dress
Or Take that you bastard;
Surely I can, if he did?
And that helps me to stay
Sober and industrious.
But I’d go today,

Yes, swagger the nut-strewn roads,
Crouch in the fo’c’sle
Stubbly with goodness, if
It weren’t so artificial,
Such a deliberate step backwards
To create an object:
Books; china; a life
Reprehensibly perfect.

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.