I can wear it like a badge: I traveled,
A badge in exchange for airfare, gear, museum tickets, and visas,
Airfare, gear, museum tickets, and visas in exchange for 12-hour shifts,
And feeling lonely.
I set a timer,
It went off, I’m home.
I will occasionally remember a good meal, a bike ride, a hot sun penetrating into my scalp.
But only occasionally.
I’m busy negotiating a deal for a new badge.
My best days are the ones that feel like journeys,
But lately my days are infiltrated with preparation for journeys,
And they don’t feel like journey days.
I’m on the phone for two hours with a grump because I must track down my passport.
This will let me step over boundaries.
I’m on the phone for two hours because I must renew my credit card.
This will let me buy trinkets which I don’t have the money for.
I’m looking for a doctor who can tell me about vaccinations.
This will let me be like the natives.
Journey Trips can only be taken with the proper safety-wear.
You are arming yourself to make this the smoothest experience possible.
Once you are properly padded, you will be ready for all of The Things that might happen.
You must have it on at all times, including before lift-off.
I’m thinking too hard about the safety-wear.
I’m thinking about how it feels tight around my rib-cage.
I need to walk without it for a moment,
Rage has come and gone.
I have that journey-feeling.
My breathing is lifting me again,
Like on journey days.
I remember things from today,
A good meal, a bike ride, a hot sun penetrating into my scalp.
Nancy Son, Marlboro College ’15