It sometimes seems to me that all my writing is travel writing. Perhaps this is because I have moved so much in my life: most of my first decade was spent in California, my second in Lahore, my third in New York, my fourth in London, and my fifth, thus far, in Lahore again.
Or perhaps it is because I still travel so often. I am a very frequent flyer. When I arrive in a new place, I fantasise about settling there. When I return again to my house, my house appears strange to me, and I detect in myself ongoing impulses to move away.
I think I am a kind of nomad. A seafarer who feels unsettled when he disembarks on dry land. Certainly I am a migrant – even though I live where I was born, and my children are the fourth generation of our family to while away their afternoons on our house’s shady lawn.
Increasingly, I have come to believe that we are all migrants, that the experience of migration unites all human beings, that movement through time is our shared journey, indeed that to be a human being is to be just that, a human being, being first in this moment, then in that, then in the one after, and so on, for a lifetime. Constantly in motion, constantly journeying, even when seemingly in repose.
Travel is universal. So what matters to me is not whether a piece of writing is called travel writing. What matters is the writing itself. What it does. What it says. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Painting © Caroline Wright, Migration no.2