by Thom Dillon
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”
Not many statements are truer than that one by Yutang. I slept for the first time on my old, familiar pillow last night after almost twelve weeks on the road. (Actually, it is two old pillows bunched together.) Eighty-one days, 10,329 miles, seventeen different hotel or motel rooms, and who knows how many ill-fitted beds, futons, couches, hide-a-beds and other makeshift resting places. (Good friends and family provided refuge for most of the nights, sometimes with comfortable beds, other times not so much.)
Last night, my first night home, I slept straight through the night. Certainly, being exhausted after that much time on the road had something to do with it, but I believe the comfort of those familiar pillows made a much bigger difference than the weariness created by long days in the car.
There is a heavy fog wrapping itself around Fairfield Bay this morning. That is just fine because I am sitting in my home, writing at my desk and there is nowhere I need to drive to today. I don’t have to be anywhere for anything. I can sit here, make a little lunch and then grab those pillows for a quiet afternoon nap.
The trek is over. It was fun and sad; it was invigorating and boring; it was beautiful and not so attractive. It was a life experience and I am glad I did it. I won’t, however, do it again, not 81 days and 10,000 miles. Individual trips to see family and friends will suffice from here on out. For now I will enjoy Fairfield Bay, the new winter season and sleeping in my own bed with those old, familiar pillows.