“You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
I don’t know that there’s a better set of words to capture the feeling of exploring the world and building home and community in more than one place. Michigan will always be home – this visit was a good reminder of that – but every time I travel and connect, or reconnect, with people and places, I feel a pull on my heart; I feel the truth of Miriam’s words.
Leaving is not easy. Saying “goodbye” and “see you later” is tough – sometimes painfully so – for me. Especially when it comes to my family, pets, good friends, the places I love most and experiences that dig deep and leave me wanting more.
The past 3-4 weeks in the U.S. have been a whirlwind. I landed in Detroit mid-July and hit the ground running. Being back in the U.S. was odd at first. Slightly alarming. As I walked through the airport in Detroit that first Thursday morning, I couldn’t quite place who I was or what I was doing. In many ways, it felt as though I’d never left. It felt as though I was retracing my steps from leaving last November. In some odd way, it felt as though Argentina and my travels and experiences in South America were a dream. It felt as though I’d been living in an alternate universe for the past 8+ months.
Yet strange as it was to land back in the U.S., within 4-5 days, I’d grown accustomed to being back. And while I was initially concerned about spending so much time back home – mostly being removed from my new home and community in Bariloche and mi español – my visit flew by. And now, here I am flying south again.
It’s odd to be living on a different continent. It’s odd to be living in another country. I’ve only ever traveled before – I’ve never truly lived outside the U.S. – so returning to a foreign-but-now-familiar place is a weird sensation.
While my time in the U.S. has been busy and fast – and time to myself was limited – it hasn’t been without some thinking and self-reflection. There’ve been moments of thinking about who I was before moving down to Argentina; moments of thinking about the triumphs and challenges of the past 8+ months, of putting myself in completely new environments with completely new people; and moments of thinking about who I am now as I retrace my steps from last November.
I’m still processing what it all means, and while I’m at the center of a lot of my thoughts – I am reflecting on myself here – dinner with a mentor, friend and fellow adventurer last Saturday reminded me of the importance of community. Be it my life in the U.S., my life and travels in South America or my adventures in other parts of the world, I feel blessed – deeply blessed – to be surrounded by some of the best.
I am in community with family and friends who show up, challenge and inspire me. I am in community with people who are thoughtful, loving, supportive and kind. People who make my life richer. People who add value to my life and, more often than not, bring out the best in me. I am grateful to those in my life – in the U.S., in Argentina and elsewhere. My life is richer and I am better for your friendship, love and support.
Gracias por tu amor. Un beso grande. Nos vemos pronto!
August 16, 2017