There aren't many things I regularly do on a trip. I don't always buy keychains or t-shirts to mark a new country or experience, and I'm hardly a superstitious person, with an arsenal of therapeutic exercises at the ready before each plane, train or automobile ride. I don't send postcards from every city, nor do I celebrate the end of a trip with a fancy dinner out. I don't do any of these things because I have a horrible memory and because one of the things I love about traveling is the weakened sense of obligation to do things that don't come natural.
However, there's one thing that happens at the culmination of every trip, and it happens as naturally as my leg hairs sprout.
I take a final shower, perfectly timed for cleanliness in transit, in sync with the rest of the last day's logistics, and completely akin to some sort of spiritual cleansing or washing of the slate clean. Each final shower marks a moment in my life no one else witnesses, but it holds some of the most intense feelings of the entire trip, all felt in a couple of steam-infused minutes.Read More