Paul Simon pens the tune “Homeward Bound” with the opening words–Sitting in a railway station, Got a ticket for my destination…but interestingly he’s not “homeward bound” in the song,  rather he’s “outward bound”.  The point of his song is that he’s leaving for the work he’s doing (as a touring musician) but he really wishes he were heading home. 

I pen these words to this blog not seated in a railway station but rather in an airport…outward bound.  I am heading off for a few days of meetings. 

People sometimes ask me about my job and especially the travel piece.  As executive director of a national organization it requires me to travel a fair bit.  Probably 75 -80 days a year.  It used to be more but I have found that the early pace was necessary then but not so much now.  I travel to visit pastors, churches, situations that are part of the conference of churches I work with. 

How do you do it? is a frequent question.  Really there are a number of answers in the response. 

1.  one of the  first things is that “I don’t mind travelling”.  I sleep easily, in most locations.  Whether it’s on a plane or a strange bed I can usually get enough rest.

2.  another dimension is that I like people.  Though we assume travel involves “places” for me it importantly involves “people”.  Wherever and whenever I go it is to be involved with people.  I find them fascinating.  Even mundane situations can bring contact with some very interesting people. 

3.  a third aspect is the “fun” involved.  I don’t find airports or security checks or immigration spots to be stressful.  I see them as “fun” occasions to watch life go on.  Airports are cultural places for me and I enjoy the experience of culture first hand. 

4.  a fourth aspect is the joy of “getting home”.  Honestly there have been times when I have been away from Canada and I find my emotions welling up when I return to “Canada”.  I regularly walk into my home after being away and sigh contentedly because I am “home”. 

5.  a piece that often doesn’t get mentioned, yet is the foundation for all of the above is that I travel well because I have a very understanding wife.  Sometimes she travels with me but usually it’s her dropping me off at the airport or standing patiently at the baggage circle when I get home.  She’s amazing and very understanding.  You can’t do life well by yourself.  It requires a lot of support and team work. 

That’s why the Simon and Garfunkel tune “Homeward Bound” is so cool.  It really is the yen of my heart when I travel.   Because when I get home, I am truly “home”.  Someone who loves me is waiting for me. 

How do you find travelling? 

 

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