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I want to pause for a moment to help you understand what a life of travel feels like.
I can’t say it’s always easy, but it sure beats most alternatives. It’s an addiction that continues to ask for more excitement and adventure. It’s a longing that feels like it can never be satisfied.
There’s nothing wrong with this because the soul longs for freedom and growth. You have to learn how to sit with that longing and then find ways to feed it.
But, I want to share what the life of travel feels like in the pauses. The moments in between.
The place where the cellular memories infuse themselves to uplift your present moments, no matter where you are or what you are doing – even in the boring day to day stuff.
It’s why we always say – Travel more. Create better memories.
Today we went to the Werribee Zoo in Melbourne. It was one of those days – you know the ones when you feel every day of the 5 months you’ve been living in each other’s pockets. I was ready to leave Craig with the gorillas since he was doing a fine interpretation of them.
I wasn’t overly keen on going to the zoo. I’m not a big fan – once you’ve seen them in Africa, it’s hard to get up for a zoo visit. But, we went for the kids and jumped on the safari bus making sure to sit on opposite sides.
Then the bus moved and the African drum beat started. Inches separated my head hanging out the open windows to rhinos, hippos and giraffes. Memories burst out of my cellular heart and took me right back to our African safaris.
Oh the moments Craig and I shared: gorilla trekking, camping with Masai warriors, playing with cheetahs, cuddling lion cubs and enjoying Christmas at Victoria Falls.
I was once again free walking through the St Lucia Wetlands with real crocs within snapping distance and trekking through the Kruger savannah downwind from the rhinos and lions with only an armed guide for protection.
Ahhh Africa. It changes your heart.
The longing entered, the rush brewed within me and I softened. The frustration and anger dissipated and I moved a little closer to Craig.
We stared at the gorillas and he pulled me close. “Man I feel like I’m in Africa again. Weren’t they amazing times?”
The cellular memories defusing our present smallness.
I think I even held his hand on the trip home.
Home to a friends place in Melbourne who we met over the internet, and I had only met in person 2 weeks before. My soul sister. Same stories, same love, just different characters. We connected over travel and she opened her home to us, just like we’ve experienced time and time again on the travel road. You come to understand that people are mostly good. They’re loving and kind and are just like you.
And that’s what a life of travel feels like.
The freedom to believe in the goodness of others and expect nothing else but that.
We settled in for the evening and I randomly turned on the TV for some brain-numbing time. American Idol came on. Phillip Phillips belted out Raging Fire. I was instantly transported back to my apartment in Raleigh. And even though I sat on a couch in Melbourne, I felt the deep love and connection to the home of my heart.
A cellular love and belonging born from a life of travel. I felt safe and loved even though I was not present physically. And that is what a life of travel feels like. You can be grounded in the magic of home with just a song.
And not long after that came Kodaline, an Irish folk rock band.
And there was Craig and I, footless and fancy free, traipsing around the streets of Dublin, pub crawling, gig traipsing and having the funniest time of our lives. The intense Irish passion filled me up and I almost screamed, take me back to the Liffey now!
In the space of 12 hours, I went to Africa, America, Europe and back again.
I felt love and hope and joy and peace. And that is what a life of travel does. Brings you that with every moment.
At times it’s confusing as you don’t feel like you belong anywhere. But, it’s because you don’t have to. You just have to belong in the now and then you are home. It’s a constant reference point of love, growth and joy.
A simple song, or smell, or random passing conversation will rush forth memories of love and joy.
That stirring arrives in the present – even when it looks bleak – and turns the frown upside down. It reminds you to be grateful and helps you connect to the love that bursts out of your chest.
What does a life of travel feel like for you?