When I first began traveling, I feel that part of me wanted to see the world, and the other part of me just wanted to escape. Travel is the ultimate form of rebellion, as if we are telling society that we refuse to play by its rules. Instead, we prefer to live life day by day, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and learning as much as we can about the world we live in. It’s exhilarating, and each moment is better than the last, until eventually, it all winds down, we board a plane, and come back to reality.
This part really used to get me down. So much so that on the plane home from spending four weeks in Africa, I cried the entire ride, all eleven hours. I wasn’t ready to return home, and I wanted my adventures to continue. Of course, it got better once I saw my friends and family, and eventually, I’ve started to understand the importance of this idea.
Sure, it’s okay to want that feeling of escape, especially from work and daily responsibilities, but, for me, there are reasons to come home. I am so very lucky to have the support system here that I do. My family and friends, at least the ones I am closest to, worry about me while I am away, but they are so supportive of my hopes and dreams. They may never see themselves traveling the way I do, but that doesn’t make them any less supportive. Some say they live vicariously through me, others have no desire to do what I do, but they are there for me either way.
I know that not everyone has what I do in terms of family and friends, and in many ways, I’ve learned that through travel and the different people I’ve met in my journey. It’s taken me the last year to realize that I probably couldn’t travel indefinitely because the people I leave behind are those I want in my life as often as they can be. This is amplified by the fact that many of the people in my life are beginning to have families of their own, and I want to be here to watch their little ones grow and support them as much as possible through the process.
So much of my writing is dedicated to leaving the world I live in, in search of something else, a discovery of places and people unknown. There’s so much I want to see and do, a world to discover and experience. But, without the ones I love to support me, I probably never would have ventured out in the first place. Which is why, I always love coming home to them.
Before I take a trip, especially one as big as the one I will embark on in just one week, I am swamped by phone calls and texts, people who make sure they talk to me before I leave, or who want to make last minute plans for dinner or drinks to see me off on my next adventure. I even have the tradition of calling my best friend, Deanna, from the airport as I am about to board the plane for one more quick good-bye. It’s comforting to know that I have these people waiting for me when I come home.
These are the people I come home for. The ones who will sit and listen to my stories, spend hours going through all of my photos, and ask me where I’ll be off to next. They are the ones I leave behind in person, but are always in my mind and heart, no matter in the world I wander, and I am so very grateful for each one of them.