Travelling Heavy/Travelling Light

Friday was a travelling day. I had been waiting for this day for a while. I needed to travel ‘home’ to apply for new UK visa so that I can travel ‘home’ again. I hadn’t been able to travel until that day – at least to leave the country as my passport has been with the Home Office since the end of March albeit for one day this summer. This is unsettling! Anyone who has lived in a different country knows this feeling. A passport is the one document – the only document that can get you ‘home’. I always know exactly where it is, it is the one thing I would grab if my house were on fire. There is a degree of certainty, security in that little navy-blue book.

It was brought to me airside at Gatwick by a very nice lady from the Home Office. She sat with me for a bit as she handed it back.

The return has not made me feel better. I don’t have any more certainty or settled-ness. It wasn’t the magic moment I was hoping it would be. I am travelling heavy.

This thought burns up almost immediately. Am I really? I ask myself. My visa issues are of my own making. I didn’t read the instructions properly, I overlooked some key information. Innocent – okay. Costly – hugely. I am not ready to begin to count the cost of this innocent, yet dumb and preventable mistake.

I travel on.

I travel lightly.

I travel lightly because I am not travelling in mud and shit and horror of the Rohingya Muslims amassing along the Myanmar/Bangladesh border. I travelled lightly in the moderate comfort of West Jet flight 23 to Vancouver and then on to Calgary. I am not in a boat or being trafficked. I did wish the girl in front of me would have put her seat up a bit. Jesu Mercy. I did not get shot on the tarmac in Vancouver. My family was not going to be driven from their homes for associating with me.

I travel lightly because my biggest agro on Friday was deciding which shoes to bring, which warm coat would be best. I am not walking for days on end, I am not going to give birth in a puddle on the side of the road, I am not starving.

I forgot my earphones at home. A house that will be there when I get back. I went to Curry’s and bought a new pair with my credit card. Without blinking.  Apparently, I need small pieces of plastic jammed into my ears to block out the noise of the other people around me. Block out the noise in my head. Distract myself with inane ‘entertainment’.  Christe Mercy.

I travel lightly because I travel in peace. My dear Peggy gave me a pin this on Thursday…

It is a dove of peace according to her. She has had it for a long time but thought I could use it right now. I am to wear it while in Canada.

I travel peacefully if not lightly.

Author: Sue Lepp

Newly appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Hambleden Valley Group of Churches and will start later in January 2021. Time for a new start at the beginning of a new year. I served my curacy in the Parish of Langley Marish and trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Former Nurse in both Canada and the UK. Specialised in Palliative Care, Gynaecology-Oncology and a bit of Orthopaedics (just to keep me travelling). Worked as a MacMillan Nurse Specialist in a few specialities in London.

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