on returning home

When we return home from our wanderings, many of us long to create some kind of artistic expression of our experience.  Maybe we simply blog about it in a chronological fashion, much like a diary, accompanied by photos.  Perhaps we write fictional tales, or we research and write about the history of the culture and how we were affected by it; possibly we draw or paint something we saw along the way. Perhaps we have a journal to show for our journey, or we create a scrapbook, or we post photographs.


HOME- Chania, Crete, Greece

We might want to consider how we’ve changed as a result of our travels, or what we learned.  Perhaps we want to relive our experience by lingering over it or meditating over it. Maybe we want to write a book, or poems, or a series of short stories about our meanderings.

We might have discovered a theme for our journey that we can express in an essay or in a photo montage. Maybe we trace our route on a map and find a meaningful connection to our journey that we were blind to before.

Possibly, when we’ve returned, we see our home in a different light.  Maybe we realize we need a change, we want to re-invent ourselves or our world, or we’re simply grateful for what we have.  Maybe we want to create a collage in a shadow box or a display case.  Maybe we collected paintings or sculptures or drawings we can display in our houses, or new clothes or scarves we can incorporate into our wardrobes.  We might have bought some cowboy boots or turquoise jewelry or crafts, or possibly some postcards we’ll have framed.


Home – Pokhara, Nepal

Perhaps we sent a postcard home to ourselves from that distant place, with reflections from our travels, and we are surprised and enlightened when we receive those faraway thoughts in our home mailbox.


Home – Inle Lake, Myanmar

Here are a few ideas of things we might do upon our return home:

  1. Contemplate: How can we re-invent ourselves and re-create our world?
  2. Chronologically list what happened on our trip. Now write it as an epic journey, in 3rd person and past tense.
  3. Try to articulate the theme of the journey: forgiveness, closure, retribution, discovery, benevolence, responsibility, connection, acceptance. Charm, willingness to listen, tact, strength, honesty, cheerfulness, self-esteem, mental clarity, openness to change, generosity of spirit, flexibility, good humor, fortitude, courage, curiosity, patience, bravery, justice, kindness, beauty, truth, daring.
  4. Create a journal with a few photos from our wanderings.
  5. Look at maps and figure out how we are connected to our journey.
  6. How have things stubbornly refused to change?
  7. What are we blind to at home? Can we see them with fresh vision? What does our homeland have to offer? What can we notice that we have already seen?
  8. What have we have learned from our journey? Reflect on the uniqueness of the culture, people, food, lifestyles. Come to a deeper understanding of our world’s inextricably-connected current and past history.
  9. How can we capture our journey when we return home? We can complete our travel journal and any sketches.  Create an original style of photo album.  Edit photos and create thematic blog posts. Make collages from photographs, newspaper clippings, old postcards, leaves and stones in a box frame or in an art journal.
  10. Have we become different people during our wanderings.  In what ways? Are our everyday thoughts altered by what we encountered on our journey? How can we carry the quality of our journey into our everyday life?

HOME – Cape May, NJ


“ON RETURNING HOME” INVITATION: I invite you to write a 500-750 word (or less) post on your own blog about returning home from one particular destination or, alternately, from a long journey encompassing many stops.  How do you linger over your wanderings and create something from them?  How have you changed? Feel free to address any aspect of your journey and how it influences you upon your return; you can use any of the above prompts or your own. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.

Include the link in the comments below by Sunday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Monday, April 16, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, beginning next Monday, and on the first Monday of each month after that. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!