I love travel. That love was developed quite early thanks to globetrotting parents who left Nigeria to get educated in the States, before leaving to go back home after garnering degrees.
From Kansas City to London to Lagos with detours in Nova Scotia — I learned to appreciate dressing up to board British Caledonian, and dressing down once we prepared for the local flights to the Eastern region.
It’s all so vividly anew each time you’re squeezed in between parents and flopping around the play cards that are part of the kiddies package.
The adventure of magically arriving in a destination that’s vastly different from the base, was the thrilling discovery that produced signature scents and the sight and sounds that delightfully mystify.
That little girl is still starving for more travel to places that fulfill the appetite of a roving disposition, and there were extended periods of bliss with the comfort of the Eiffel Tower being within reach, and the ravenous South Beach sun devouring liquid skin in a sandy oasis.
But the last few years have been challengingly tumultuous with the loss of jobs and self.
Giving it all up for unrealized dreams while creating nightmares of mounting debts, ill-fated relationships, crippling destabilization and erratic financial and physical health.
When you lose your mind, you lose time and time is all we have when we have it.
And so it’s back to the drawing board which was a vast space of nothing, but slowly the sketches resurface with careful attention to outlines.
The latest excursion took us to the avenues of suburban New York, which used to sound like an existence I would surrender to for a short-lived mandate before racing back to skylines, and the never ending soundtrack of Metro trains screeching to a halt.
Disembarking at the terminal of track 12 at Penn Station was a rush with floods of bodies ganging in unison towards the exit.
Breezing through the underbelly of the city while playfully encouraging mom to keep up was the joyous reunion of a past life, that still nags with nostalgic tapestry of what will never be regained.
A native New Yorker after decades of studious adherence during the courting phase, and the eventual reward of the little space that held furnishings and things with the promise of sustainment via corporate checks that were hard- earned.
As the train to Rockville Center is announced the stairs heading to the track beat with the loss of independence as I’m swept into a tunnel of overpowering sadness, with the tinge of panic over how my present state of affairs is threatening all the sacrifices that were supposed to prevent the brutal fall from prosperity.
The ride is long enough to doze off and short enough to be energized when our stop blares with authority.
The blustery wind realigned thought process as the need for immediate shelter took precedence, and then back to the drive to the home of cousins, who need their cousin and aunt for simple reasons.
The Uber ride was filled with warmth and then the majestic home imposingly beckoned after the driver glided away.
The very thing you couldn’t fathom for eternity suddenly emerges with ironic counter.
As my sick cousin laid in post-surgery embalmment, her hazy view meshed with my vibrant coherency of her older brother’s castle of riches.
This trip wasn’t just a trip.
It was the challenge of watching moving objects validate surroundings that I swore belonged to everyone but me. And then the walls dry up, and stop shedding evidence of womanhood, and kills the likelihood of customized tots, roaming around the haven you made with their maker.
The journey back commenced after we waved our exit back to the locomotives, and the tracks of thought that spread ahead with allotted time to reconcile what you’ve lost; and what might be gained when you accept the terms of the days you have left.
One thing is for sure, I will never stop searching, and future trips have been booked.