The Comfort of Visiting Familiar Places

I have gotten used to not going abroad since the beginning of the pandemic, but I don’t think I can live without traveling. I’ve inhaled experiences and exhaled stories since my childhood. I couldn’t travel as a kid, but even then I explored every nook and cranny of our neighborhood. I would gaze at the faraway mountains and wonder what was behind them. I would feel an ache in my heart for the unknown, and I believe people who love traveling know the kind of pain I am talking about.

Yet there are times I don’t feel like traveling at all. I want to go to the places that harbor my past memories because they are comforting. And there is something lovely about the comfort of visiting familiar places—they might be near my home but make my heart beat nevertheless. There are several places like this in Japan such as the beautiful Matsue Beach in Akashi. Whenever I am overwhelmed and troubled by thoughts, I find myself here like a traveler seeking an oasis in the desert. 

The places I know bring me happiness in so many ways. For example, I don’t need to rush to see everything because I have already seen them. When I revisit them, I can pay attention to the details I previously missed and enjoy slow traveling. I can focus on reading books or writing blog posts while watching people passing by and feeling the winter sun on my skin, like today. 

And nothing stays the same. When I go to Matsue Beach, I see new people there every time. The amateur surfers I saw last time fight the waves perhaps more deftly this time. Or the old woman walking her old dog is no longer there. Even the waves coming from Awaji Island are not the same. The beach is desolate today except for a few birds busking in the sun. 

I am watching the birds carefully—they are on the water but don’t move at all, let alone swim against the waves. They are tossed from one direction to another by the waves and wind, but they don’t seem to mind it. The sun glints off the waves, unbothered by the cold weather. You would think it is a summer afternoon, watching it from indoors. It reminds me, in the most gentle way, that nothing lasts forever—and neither should sorrows and worries. 

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  1. Shahbaz Ashraf

    Interesting reading again, Bahanur! Your wanderlust will not let you sit idle. Rather, this will urge you to keep exploring new places, and then sharing your experiences with others.
    Keep exploring the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you Shahbaz 😊 It’s always a pleasure to read your comments here!


      1. Shahbaz Ashraf

        You are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

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