I love to travel but I hate coming home. Usually the feeling manifests itself most strongly when I walk back into my office and realize that all those emails that I scanned so cavalierly on my Treo have people on the other end of them who would really like a well-thought-out response. Or rather, would have liked one yesterday. Somehow the urgency of the office is something that I am supremely talented at leaving at the office, of which I am glad. After all, I’m gone for one of two reasons – I’m taking well-earned vacation time, so that I can return refreshed and eager to dive back into my job, or my company paid for me to travel to a conference or workshop, an investment I would only be squandering if I spent the time with my nose in my laptop returning aforesaid emails. So, out of sight, out of mind.
You could chalk it up to just enjoying getting away from work, but I think it also has something to do with my desire to be present and live in the moment. I mean, what’s the point of getting away if your mind is still at home? I have a great respect for the Buddhist traditions, and in particular for one of its most beloved teachers, Pema Chödrön. She is this funny, irreverent nun who spends a lot of time teaching about not wandering away from the present, staying in the moment, experiencing life as it comes, good or bad, and learning not to “scratch the itch,” i.e., respond to whatever in your environment is goading you to respond. As in, no matter how delayed my plane is, I’m appreciating the giggling twin girls across from me instead of fuming. Presentness has been a resolution of mine for some time now. So in other words, wherever I go, there I am.
Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future. In other words, if we’re going to be more cheerful in the future, it’s because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.
— Pema Chödrön in When Things Fall Apart