Life Musings, Travel Stories


This week I will be marking the passage of 5 months on the road. Just when I think I’ve adjusted to this new way of life, a wave of homesickness washes over me and I start to long for things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the arrival of Fall. The truth is, I miss walking around in my underwear and having my own key that is just mine and not borrowed. One that doesn’t stick in the lock or open the door to someone else’s apartment. I miss not having to add or subtract seven hours every time I look at my phone and want to call home. I miss being known and knowing.

     I miss the smell of fresh grounds in the morning and the sound my coffee pot makes as it steams and sputters and the way I come to life with that first sip from my favorite mug. I miss sprinkling cinnamon on top and scrambling my own eggs. I miss my Dad’s goofy smile and his open arms that he holds wide just before a hug goodbye. I miss my record player and excitedly texting newgirlnewgirlnewgirl!!! to my best friend each week and giggling together over the latest episode. I miss driving my beat up old car through country roads and hills that will always be home, feeling the pregnant humid air of summer whistle through my finger tips. I miss knowing exactly where I will be sleeping each night and curling up with the soft down pillows my grandmother gave me for Christmas the year before she died. I miss eating chilaquiles with my sister in Mexico.
TheBarefootBeat“Home is wherever I’m with you.” -Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes

I miss home, but it’s not a physical place I can name or point to on a map. It’s a feeling. It’s the feeling I have when I wake up in a stranger’s home and am served coffee with sucre and biscuits. It’s exchanging a familiar smile and looking into the eyes of someone you love, arms entangled, bodies pressed close. It’s summer barbecues and fireworks in a country that no longer feels so foreign. These pieces and reflections of home are fragments of a life I used to know and the one I am still discovering. They are fever dreams of the person I used to be and the one I am becoming.ThebarefootBeat
“There’s such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it’s like having a stranger as a house guest in your own skin.” -Barbara Kingsolver

Some days I long for the simplicity of belonging. Of belonging to one home, one person, one life. I miss the security that comes with being surrounded by a language I understand and plans that seem sure. More than ever, I miss the way goodbyes used to be saved for special occasions like airports and holidays, funerals and summer vacations. Now they are part of my routine, a weekly ritual I can’t escape. I keep trying to process the velocity of all of these hellos and goodbyes, to cry as my train speeds away from another untimely parting of ways, to let my emotions catch up to me, but I feel numb and too used to these kinds of farewells. This vulnerable state of being open, of letting in and letting go has changed the shape of my heart forever, stretching it until I think it will burst with the happiness of hello or the sadness of goodbye. Tonight I am homesick and heartsick. Tonight I’m not sure how many more suitcase homes I can carry with me before I break.
TheBarefootBeat“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
– Jack Kerouac

In my mind I am already thinking of the next part of my journey, planning and preparing for a new adventure. But my heart, my heart never got on that train. It refused to leave when we hugged goodbye, it neglected to follow my feet out the door and onto the steps of the plane that took me far away from you. The more I travel the more I pick up and leave behind. The more I love and the more I lose. The more homes I walk away from. The more home is being stamped and branded on my heart, trusting that these small pieces of me that are left behind will eventually help me find my way back. 

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