People who know me will find this hard to believe, but I abstained from speech, texting and all forms of communication on New Year’s Day, which I spent at the Kripalu Center in the Berkshires. I made this the subject of my last essay on Perceptive Travel. A fire alarm went off during my day of silence, and the center was evacuated — which freaked me out a little.
I’ve been a professional writer for my entire career, which is to say, for nearly the past twenty years. I’ve written for international publications with large readerships, and for tiny niche publications with smaller ones. But in that moment, wrapped in that blanket on New Year’s Day, I realized that the small group of people who would care if I got stuck in a blanket during a fire drill at my New Year’s yoga retreat, the people who would appreciate the joke I’d make out of anxiety an oblige with a good ol’ LOL, the people with whom I am the most intimate — they are my home. They are the people that make it possible for me to leave home and travel, and to tolerate being alone, and yes, lonely, on a holiday when most people naturally congregate with their beloveds.