Travellers come in two sorts: the fast and the slow. The fast are ticking places off a list: they see the sights, they clutch a guidebook, they spend money. So much to do, so little time. They are in a rush to get home, or rather, home is in a rush to have them back: work and family or any other variant of obligations that they’ve temporarily put their mind off of. Vacationers. The slow, instead, fit new places on until they are familiar. They have breakfast at the same cafe every morning and they forget their cameras in a room they sometimes refer to as home. They have time. They’ll take pictures some other day. They have obligations, too, which they’ve neatly packed along with them. Finding a new job or apartment, say, or keeping in touch. Sometimes we travel fast, and sometimes we travel slow, but oftentimes, we can only make space in our lives for just one sort or the other.
I’ve been in Melbourne long enough that I hesitate when someone asks me what’s so different back home, what I found surprising or difficult to adjust to. What I miss most, materially.
This is what makes that fast sort type of traveling so singular and affecting: those places you forever remember as foreign, as blips in what you’ve ever known, distinct from your routines and your home.
We rented a car a few months ago, a Groupon deal, and figured we’d find a place to go when the time came. Indeed, we left the decision until the morning of our weekend rental – it was time for a blip.