After traveling around for so long (or just getting older I suppose), you get used to your mind traveling without you. Almost any simple sight can teleport you back to another time and place- a memory forgotten brought back in an instant. Some of these flashes are simple visual similarities with other places you’ve visited. Others can sweep you away and connect a lifetime of sights and experiences.
A day earlier a little beaten-up white pickup truck with some kids in the back had sent me back to visits with my uncle when I was young. He would pick us up from the airport on Vancouver Island and then my parents would cram into the front with him, while my brother and I would gleefully ride in the bed and try not to let our excitement to get us into trouble by bouncing around too much. A wonderful memory brought back to life by a similar sight.
Then, this perfectly pleasant sight in Taupo crashed over me.
Learning to sail on The Seine in Paris when I was young, kids taking their boats out from the Bermuda Dinghy Club on weekends when I was living there, other children taking out their boats while I was camping at The Clube Náutico da Ilha de Luanda in Angola during this trip… All of it came rushing back with that one view. A disconnected mass of half-forgotten memories instantly and irrevocably tied together in my mind.
Sure, it was a beautiful day with some truly stunning riding around the lake, but it was really about a simple sight that brought back and connected the memories of a lifetime.