Here we go again. I’m once again packing as much of my life as I can fit into a suitcase and shipping myself across the world.
This scene looks pretty familiar by now. My clothes folded into messy piles all around my room- “definitely take,” “maybe if I have room,” “last minute laundry.” I’m slowly crossing off my to-do list, running final errands, responding to goodbye texts. By now I’ve got this leaving thing down pat. I can pretty much pack my entire life into a suitcase in 20 minutes flat. 15 if I’m pressed for time.
But even though I’ve done this so many times before- put my home life on pause and taken off for a new country, new adventure- it doesn’t really make the leaving part any easier. Sure, it’s not the ceremonious departure it used to be. Elaborate going away parties with tears and promised Skype calls have dwindled down to relaxed drinks and final goodbye coffees with a couple close friends. Which is fine. The song and dance of painful, drawn out goodbyes sometimes just makes things harder.
Having been home for over two months makes it especially hard to leave. I’ve gotten into a routine here and will miss the comfort of being home. Warm days by the pool. Shouting out answers during Jeopardy with my dad. Drinking wine and watching trashy reality TV with my mom. The little things.
This summer was especially a good one. I celebrated my birthday at home for the first time in three years. I got to see three of my closest college friends get married in beautiful ceremonies. I spent much needed girl time with my best friends and even found time to meet up with old friends I hadn’t seen in years. I got to see my beautiful family every single day. Having all these incredible people in my life makes it that much harder to leave, but I’m so grateful I have them all waiting for me whenever I end up back home.
So with that much love at home, why leave? Well, for better or worse I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, hard. Somewhere between buying my first ticket to Mexico and becoming a full time traveler, this has become my absolute passion. I’m happiest with my life in my pack, holes in the same clothes I’ve been wearing for months, my hair matted to the point of semi-dreadlocks, living off what we need instead of what we want. Traveling really puts things in perspective. Spending time in developing countries really shows us how ridiculously privileged we are. Stripping back all the frivolous stuff, leaving behind our iPhones and makeup and hair products, we can really see what’s important: finding clean water, nutritious food, a comfortable place to sleep and spending time with people that inspire us to be passionate, adventurous and grateful.
And it doesn’t hurt that I have the absolute best travel companion in the world. Equally as much as it kills me to say goodbye to family and friends in the US, I am just as excited to finally be reunited with the love of my life. I feel so incredibly lucky to have my best friend to travel with. As cheesy as it sounds, it was an absolute gift for him to walk into my life in Pisco. I can’t imagine a better travel companion, or life companion, someone who is just as spontaneous and thirsty for adventure as I am. Someone to share my incredible experiences with.
So, tonight I’m off on yet another long-ass plane trip. I can’t wait for the energy of the airport. To throw on my headphones and be pulled along into the frenetic current of motion, people in constant movement toward every part of the globe. And to finally be reunited with Jules so we can keep going together on our crazy, chaotic whirlwind adventure.