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(Published: 2014-04-28)

Or is there?

My husband and I are nearing the end of our snowbird getaway. We were lucky to escape three brutal months of Minnesota winter, but now it’s time to head home.

We were discussing our plans this afternoon at the pool (I know, I’m rubbing it in). As we prepare to pack up the car and head out of Dodge (or in this case Tucson), we find ourselves paradoxically both reluctant to leave and anxious to get home.

We started thinking about the many things we have enjoyed during our winter in the desert: endless sunny days, stunning vistas, sleeping with the doors and windows open, and watching the saguaros bloom, just in time for Easter. We’ve played some great golf courses, made new friends, and had several culinary adventures. One of our best finds were still-warm homemade tamales we bought from a guy selling them out of the trunk of his ’72 Buick at a dirt crossroads in Oro Valley. (6 for $8!)

We’re hoping that by the time we pull into our driveway the mountain of snow in our cul-de-sac will be completely gone. Even though we don’t expect to see anything green (i.e. buds or grass) for a few weeks, we still find ourselves looking forward to being home.

Remember Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz?” Her famous line “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home” is ranked #23 in the American’ Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie-quotations in American cinema. There must be a reason for that.

Of course there is. No matter how much we look forward to our travels, it’s always great to come home. We’ve had a wonderful winter away, but we’ve missed our friends and family, our own bed, and Apple TV. I’ve missed my Pilates instructor, my husband has missed his gym, and we’ve both missed the morning buns from Patisserie Margo in Excelsior.

Seneca said: “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” We are heading home invigorated. That said, I believe that “change of place” doesn’t necessarily have to be 1800 miles away—it can also be a “change of pace,” or a change in perspective.

It’s a comforting paradox that we can be reluctant to leave yet anxious to return. As we started to plan our return trip home, we discovered another irony lurking in this travel saga. We’ve felt very “at home” here in Tucson.

Home may be wherever you are, but home isn’t home until you return.

We’ll be coming back home to Tucson next winter.

Dorothy's Red Slippers

Packed & Heading Home

Robyn Waters is president and founder of RW Trend, LLC. She is the author of The Trendmaster’s Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next, and The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape. Learn more about Robyn at All Rights Reserved.

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