I sit in my go-to ‘airport’ floor position. Feet crossed, shoes off and notepad open to a blank white page. My flight ticket resting between the bent, loved pages of my passport. So much more than a piece of paper, but a sign of what’s next.
It’s a process that’s become familiar to me. I’ve learned to give myself an hour or so just to write, to reflect on the last moments.
I sit in silence. No music, for once. It’s important to open up the space for reflection. To step away from the moment and look at it in hindsight. To process it, appreciate it, and look forward. Because even the most incredible moments can start to feel ‘normal’ if you let them. I don’t want to ever not take in every second of this life.
In the chaos of strangers on their own journeys, I let myself cry. My tears are fuelled by mixed emotions – absolute gratitude for the experience and the people who were put in my path, and of sadness, for having to say goodbye, yet again.
I look down at a photo of my nephews. Two of the people I miss the most. A pang of guilt hits me, a sense of responsibility for them. But then I realise I’m smiling, because I can teach them things most can’t. Lessons about living a life that’s true and being the best version of myself.
I’ve become comfortable with the unknown, but the goodbyes never get easier. All I know for certain is that some people are put in your life for a reason… to bring out the best in you, teach you a lesson, to remind you who you are and what you stand for. I’ve learned that friendships, real connections, can’t be measured by time or distance.
Coping with ‘births & deaths’ in travel.
Last night, I sat on a rooftop in San Juan Del Sur. I was with a bunch of travellers, chatting about life, love, expectations, and happiness. There was this collective feeling of detachment. ‘I don’t feel happy at home.’ ‘I find myself falling into the hole of what I should be doing, not what I want to be doing.’ ‘I started to question who I was… the person I am travelling or who I am at home.’
We all shared our feelings of detachment and our struggles with going home. There were no walls and no fear in speaking honestly.
This whole birth/death cycle that happens when you travel a lot sends me spinning. No one talks about this guilt – about not being happy at home, with the people you’ve known for most of your life. The people who love you the most, and who you love, too.
I always take goodbyes the hardest. I connect very quickly to people like me with the same spirit, mindset and outlook on life. Maybe I haven’t just got lucky with these people, but rather, I’ve attracted them. But, it’s hard to let them go.
Our concept of “home” is built on this sense of familiarity, routine, communication, and identity. Home is more than the physical place in which we live. It’s connected to all of the people, actions, feelings, emotions and cues that make us feel ‘at home.’ When we leave these people, we’re leaving home, all over again. They’re not just travellers or people in our photos – they’re family.
What’s the solution? I’m still working on it. For now, all I’m trying to do is be in a place of acceptance. I’m starting to be okay with not knowing how my story turns out. I don’t know when I want to go home or if I ever want to completely. I love how my mind changes so often. I’m in a constant state of growth, my life-craft stage. For me, this is the perfect time to live the way I want to live. I don’t think I can ever go back from this.
My heart will know where I need to go. When it’s time to move on, to go home or to find a new home, in a person or a place. And, you will, too.