I crossed the street from the cafe’ to my car and I felt Nicaragua on my back.
The places that I’ve traveled to, they follow me like ghosts.
Nicaragua taps me on the shoulder every once in a while and reminds me to be brave.
It tells me that I’ve explored foreign islands, that I’ve ridden on the side of ferry boats and hitchhiked on motorcycles.
It makes sure that I never forget that the battles of my heart require that same courage.
I drink wine and Italy whispers in my ear to take things slowly and find beauty in the simplest moments.
I write in a new cafe’ and Paris sits across from me making sure that I never let a man hold me back from exploration.
Simon & Garfunkel come on and Portland walks along side me reminding me that I’m always happier when I take the time to smile to myself.
I think it’s easy to trivialize travel. To treat it like it’s something used to escape a life that we aren’t prepared to handle. A running from responsibility. But, I’ve found it to be the biggest break-through in my being.
The touchstones for my personal growth.
Poland taught me how to show people hospitality, Chicago taught me to not see the world in black & white, India taught me to speak my truth and Panama taught me to find balance.
I can certainly find introspection at home. But, there’s something about putting yourself in the position to experience things out of your comfort zone that seems to put your life into perspective, and often at a little bit of a faster pace. Coming face to face with new people, new experiences and unique challenges has helped me to ask myself questions that I may not have come to otherwise.
It took getting lost in Scotland for me to learn that sometimes that seems like the worst case scenario is actually the best possible outcome. I’ve used that tiny bit of truth time and time again ever since.
These are the moments that haunt me.
The ones that make sure I never lose sight of everything that I’ve learned.
The taps on the shoulder, whispers in my ear and the constant tug at my heart of where I’ve already been.