The Return- Coming Home Once Again
Photo Credit- Jaimito Cartero
I don't mean to act high and mighty. Truth be told, I've made more mistakes living the life that I choose to lead than nearly anyone I know. Yet I sit here tonight with a feeling of curiosity, pondering the twists and turns which brought me here. This is the feeling you get when returning back to a place where you grew up, seeing old faces and places and getting the updates from old friends, the ones you can't find on a Facebook news feed.
It's just different, hard to explain. When on the road, wherever it may be, there exists a longing. The dynamic people you meet, the remarkable places you see, and the experiences that form the unforgettable stories you remember, take place in spite of an empty feeling that is impossible to ignore. In the back of your mind, you always wonder; What is going on back home?
This is why it is necessary to come back every once an a while, peek back into the lives of those who once made up your social network before you had a friend on every continent. To look back to the days where all your buddies were from the neighborhood you grew up in. What I am realizing now for the second time, is that as much as things change, they don't, not even a little bit.
On a rock overlooking the sea in Split, Croatia with my Irish Pals
The same people, doing the same things, maybe with a slight twist. Old best buddies now just shake your hand and say see ya later. Meanwhile at home, e-mails await from your buddies you met on the road, urging you to come visit exotic locations around the globe and open travel invitations abound to nearly any location you desire. Iran to Ireland, Colombia to Russia, the doors are open.
Maybe it is me that has changed, because it sure looks like everybody here is still just doing the same old shit. It is no wonder why I feel the urge to see each corner of the world, to live in new cities, establish myself in new communities worldwide.
In a feeble attempt to explain this point further, I'll say this; what are the odds of finding people who can really relate to us within a few mile radius of where you grew up? I find it incredible how I can fly into Berlin, Buenos Aires or Brooklyn and randomly make great friends who I stay in touch with and yet I can come back home and things with people just aren't the same.
What you begin to realize when you have been traveling long enough is that your hometown is little more than another stopover and your real home? Well that is wherever you make it...
What I am trying to say in my slightly inebriated state, is that one thing that you will need to make peace with when attempting to become a world nomad, is that you may not come back to the same place that you left. You will inevitably change. Real conversations over wine on a rooftop in Sicily, heart to heart outpourings over 3am walks in Budapest, these things will change you. The good news... You will grow, learn and blossom into something so much more than you once were.
Upon returning it is impossible not to realize how far you have come. That your true home, your best friends and the best times to be had, may well not be back home, but rather on the new path you have forged. Whether a plush queen pillow top or an airport bench, it does not matter where you lay your head tonight. My home is everywhere, my real friends grow in numbers with every plane ticket I purchase. So why take the plunge, head out into the unknown and leave the place you have known your entire life? Well, you may just find that your home is not where you are now, but instead, the road itself...