This chapter of my life in my home state of Ohio has reached the point where I know my departure is due. How long have I been back in the States now? In some ways, I have grown to feel even more out of place here than I felt back in Asia. I don’t say that to diminish the lovely times I’ve had with my family and old friends—those times are the hugs and laughs that I hold in my soul for the long times I know I’ll be without the comfort of a familiar face or voice. I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet some hidden gems in my hometown which further proves my theory: spectacular humans exist anywhere you are willing to look for them!
The truth is that it’s harder to know who I am in my hometown than it is abroad. In the most foreign of places, I am neatly defined against the boundaries of everything exotic surrounding me. Abroad, I know who I am because I know exactly what I’m not.
When will the dust settle? Will I ever let it? I fear the more I keep moving about this planet, the less likely it is that I’ll ever be content to stay in one spot for very long. I’m aware of the great privilege that is my unhinged life. I hear it all the time, “travel while you’re young, do it now before you have husbands and kids.”
And as exciting as trotting this globe really is, the feeling of not belonging anywhere still lurks in the background of my thoughts. There is a quote that says, “We travel to find where we truly belong”, but I don’t believe that is altogether true. I don’t know that I want to belong to any one place right now. I treasure my freedom with unchecked ferocity, but at the same time, I can admit that it would be nice to be able to share my adventures with someone someday.
As I set off again with another set of goodbyes and see you laters, know that my leaving is not for a lack of love for my people or my place. Our Ohio license plate says “the heart of it all” and I have to remember that my time here in the great Midwest played a huge part in making me who I am, and for that it will always hold a piece of my heart.
My passion for travel has brought me to some extraordinary people and places around this globe. My only hope is that the adventures continue; I hope to keep exploring simply because I have yet to be disappointed.