What’s different about home

Cairo Rooftops – All Rights Reserved

When I travel, I don’ t observe the normal boundaries that I do at home – like not talking to people on the bus or the street, I spend time with strangers less, I don’t go to “dangerous” neighborhoods – and I don’t look for multiple sources of confirmation to cross a place off the list, I don’t loiter, I don’t go to tourist destinations. I’ve been burned in my neighborhood when I was trying to be friendlier, but if I was a traveler  I might try to talk to the veterans who are always outside instead of the yuppies my age who – like me, are scurrying to their familiar homes. When I’m in a travel mindset, I’m open. When I’m in a home mindset, I’m on a track. I’m a curious person, so I’m not totally closed off, and I go to meetups and make conversation at the gym and on the elevator, but with less conviction. I need it less. I can’t fake that. I used to think I could instigate situations that would feel more like travel, or the desperation that drives you into weird and amazing coincidences. But you can’t fake something that important, which so requires authenticity. I can fake dance steps, I can’t fake trust in a dance partner who holds me too tight. I can fake happiness, I can’t fake friendliness. I can fake busyness, I can’t fake purpose. I can fake studiousness, I can’t fake having learned something I didn’t.

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