When I woke up this morning, stretching and daydreaming of the pancakes I would later make, I thought to myself, “This day is for me. I’m going to do what I want.”
About an hour later, a good friend and fellow Peace Corps Volunteer called me crying. As a Floridian, she was worried about her friends, especially those she couldn’t reach. No one expects such carnage to happen in her backyard; this shock mingles with a helplessness that makes you wish you could be there to do something, to help in some way, while the other half of your brain tells you there’s no difference you could possibly make.
While washing dishes, I thought about my own responses to these tragedies. Terror, anger, and despair rush through my veins in waves of intense emotion, muddying my thoughts as I try to make sense of them. The problem is that there is no sense in actions of deep-seated hate, such as in the attacks in Orlando. So how should I respond? What should I do? What can I do, if anything? Continue reading
“I don’t belong anywhere. I belong where I want to go .”
This weekend, I was in NYC to see a fellow traveler and friend whom I hadn’t seen in two years. When he said the quotation above, we were talking about being able to move our lives with ease, and how it felt to leave one place for another. We both expressed our deeply-bound need to explore the new. We agreed it was not something we could ignore, but rather a core foundation of our character. When it comes to relationships, then (both platonic and romantic), things get a bit tricky. How do you explain to those you care about that traveling is more important to you than they are? It’s just not that easy.
My patient friends have often heard me say that I don’t miss people after moving, which is pretty much a lie. I do miss them, but I would never want to give up a chance to see new places and meet new people, just to stay in the same place as loved ones. And of course everyone experiences something like this during a lifetime. But it’s struck me as particularly odd that once I arrive at Destination X, it’s all about me at Destination X. My friends are “back there” and I am here. So,
How do you live your life as a traveler, feeling compelled to keep moving when you also find it incredibly difficult to leave behind your friends and family?
There is no one answer, I suppose. My answer is a common one. I keep in touch with those that I love, and try to see them when possible. The hardest moment is the actual leaving. What I mourn is the fact that things will never be the same. In that moment, I know I’m leaving and I know that when I see them in the future, it will be in a different place, with different people, with different feelings towards each other. So, to those whom I’m leaving soon, I will miss you. And
if when I cry, I’m mourning the loss of the way things are.
But who’s to say the future doesn’t hold better things for us? ❤