On a shuttle to the airport. No air conditioning. I am coated in a thin layer of sweat and sunscreen. Unlike our taxi from the airport, this one at least has working seatbelts. Foreigner is playing on the radio.
I have the worst case of sea legs I have ever had. The ground heaves as I walk, and when I stand, I sway like a tree in a strong breeze. It is so strange to be on land, the stretches of sidewalk and hot pavement, the dirt and stones littered with tiny geckos.
In the airport now. It was such a jolt to go from paradise to long security lines and TSA patdowns, Starbucks and bad airport pizza. A teenager coughed on my neck all the way to the terminal. I bought a watercolor of a sea turtle at the airport.
I feel like this vacation has changed me but I can’t quite pin down what is different. I would like to say I’m less anxious, more mindful, or less selfish, but quite honestly I don’t think any of those are true. There’s just something slightly slanted, a little turned around, maybe even off-center. I’d like to be changed. I hope I can carry some remnant of different with me as I return to everyday. Or maybe it will just pass, like the movement of the ground, and as the earth grows still beneath my feet I will get lost in the shuffle of daily life and forget all about it.