“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.”
According to Wikipedia, in 1823 John Howard Payne first wrote these words as part of an opera. Later they were released as a song, becoming very popular in the mid-nineteenth century. This morning as I sit on my screened porch, drink my tea, listen to the birds chirp, and look at the beauty of the grass, trees, and flowers, I think how true those words are and how sad it would be for anyone if they were not. While I can scratch an around-the-world cruise off my bucket list, having seen palaces and experienced countless pleasures, I am thrilled to be home.
Yesterday was easily the worst day of my trip with the best result, being home. Our Road Scholar leader, Valerie, who was wonderful in every way, was worried about our early flight with 1300 passengers to disembark so she worked some magic to get us off the ship early. What she did not count on was that I would be randomly chosen to have to be escorted to customs and carefully examined. They took my passport so I had no choice in the matter. Everybody else, including Sandy, could just walk out and not be examined at all. I felt like a criminal. I would have collected my bags and gone for a careful inspection without being escorted! Still, it would not have been so bad had there been enough escorts and I not been paired with five other people who had twenty six bags between them. I stood and waited for over an hour and a half, saying over an over my flight time. They finally did get a separate escort for the three of us who were ready with our bags. The custom agent took very little time to tell me I did not owe anything. We arrived at the gate five minutes before they started boarding, a miracle.
Traveling is like knowledge; the more you see, the more you know how little you have seen. This trip was nothing more than an introduction to new places, cultures, geography. I loved it but now that I am home, I have a long list of things to learn about where I have been. That learning will be a wonderful adventure at home where I intend to stay for a long while.