I always feel a twinge of heartache when I leave Toronto. Even though living here at times is similar to running an obstacle course with frequent hurdles to clear, and after a long stretch, the place starts to feel small and congested. To me at least. Occasionally there is an overwhelming sense communal weariness that seems to blanket the city, like the clouds that periodically cover London. Emotionally, you can end up feeling fucking put upon. But Toronto is home. My home, and I’m proud of it.
Travelling, however, is literally a soul experience for me. Exploring new cities opens a part of me that belongs only to that locale. Especially if I have to fly to get there. Before takeoff as the plane races down the tarmac I feel all of my stuff acutely. The stuff that I subdue so that I can navigate city life. My perception shifts and then there’s openness, heartache, anticipation, sadness, annoyance, and release. Deep sigh. When the plane speeds up to takeoff my heart races with pleasure probably as fast as the engine is revving. And, we exhale. I love that part the most, almost as much as I love the physical sensation of that first climb into the sky.
I fucking love airplanes. The wings. The tails. The noses. How they feel like they are barely moving but in reality the flying machine is barreling through the sky at a ridiculous clip. I love this for me. Fellow passengers as well, but let’s be honest here, mainly me. The pilot skidding the plane to a stop after a successful landing is a jolt back to reality and a very impactful reminder of how fast we were actually going.
Every time I reach a destination I get apprehensive: what’s the agenda? Usually my itinerary when I arrive in new places is very much up in the air, sort of it like it is when I’m home, however, now there is added pressure. I’ve come all this way. I should have a carefully constructed idea of what I am planning to do. Then it’s a fevered prayer: God, Allah, or whom-the-fuck-ever, please help me to relax.
My latest destination was to the abundantly sunny state of Florida where I enjoyed myself very much. In fact, Florida, I love you. I mean the whole state reminds of a crazy ex-boyfriend. One of those exes that you’d never in your life date again, but you cherish the memories and the good times. You know what I mean. We’ve all been there.
Travelling, I’d die holding your hand.