Dear Diary . . .
It’s a well-honed habit, the final actions of a traveler who has done this a thousand times before. Pen out, one last entry scribbled in the journal that’s acted as silent companion during this portion of the journey.
Tonight is the last night I’ll ever sleep in this bed . . .
It’s a worn out phrase, the concluding statement of a backpacker who has come to associate one thin feather pillow with a specific destination.
Tasmania – or my six months, two weeks and four days there – will be remembered by a borrowed bed; an extra sleeping bag on top to keep out the autumn chill; the frantic nightly scratch of possum nails on the front deck.
The next mattress may be softer, the next bedroom free of marching ants and thin insulation.
For tomorrow night, who knows?
It’s always surreal to compare our current home with our next. I wonder about where I will lie my head, after we drive from our remote staff quarters on Tassie’s east coast, to a friend’s turn-of-the-century house in Launceston. And after that? What will sleep feel like when we finally return to New Zealand?
With every departure comes an arrival. Every goodbye to used linen precedes a fresh set of sheets. And every “Adios” follows fast on the hour of our next “Hello,” and welcome . . .