This photo was taken looking up river to Hampton Court outside London, Henry VIII’s favorite palace and a dream trip for me. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m much more comfortable staying at home, settling into a comfortable rut, snuggling into my Tempurpedic bed with four pillows every night than I am traveling. But looking back through photos of the times I’ve spent in London, Prague and Italy make me realize how I wish I had notated every single minute because it might never come again. How it stretched the membrane of me-ness to leave home and navigate strange streets, incomprehensible languages and unfamiliar customs. How important it was to be desperately homesick at the start of every trip and then to recover and feel like a newly revived person after a long illness. How I grew to love the sensation of anonymity and aloneness and to miss it when I came back home. I know that for some people travel comes easy, but for me, every journey outside my known world is a form of often painful, sometimes euphoric spiritual growth. I have to break out of the exoskeleton of safety I’m constantly accreting in order to be born into a new world — soft, vulnerable, afraid, eager, porous. I hate it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.