The Introduction is part of the Iraq Homecoming Trip Report
When Covid hit, I made adjustments. The most obvious one was not traveling (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report). Locked down, I became accustomed to my daily lifestyle and even accomplished a few things (see COVID 2020: TPOL’s Most Productive Year). In 2021, I left the basement with my sights set on purchasing an Italian villa (see Did TPOL Buy a 1 Euro Italian Villa?). While that trip was fun, it did not feel natural. Everything was closed or restricted, even wine tasting (see Guns & Butter: Ribera Del Duero, Madrid Travel Guide (Vino Edition)).
Although the Covid hysteria lives on, this trip seems different. I am no longer trying to escape from the basement. Instead, I am reclaiming my life. A big part of my life is travel. It is cliche to say that travel is important, but that statement doesn’t mean the same to the masses as it does to me. For me, travel is oxygen. Without it, I cannot live. Without it, I lose part of my identity. I become another face among the masses, surviving the monotony of the daily routine only to do it over again.
Well, that bullshit is now over. I’m on the road, onto new destinations, and, symbolically, onto Iraq for the first time in an effort to try to understand where I come from and who I am. To romanticize the trip, I arrived in Baghdad on my 40th birthday.