An open letter to everyone I’m leaving behind –
It isn’t you. It’s me.
I am sorry that it has to be like this, but please understand why I have to go. You see, my feet have been itching to run for as long as I can remember. I was not crafted to sit still, nor will I ever find fulfillment in being confined to one place. There is far too much beauty in this world to ever be content seeing only a fraction of it. Have you ever stopped to notice the warmth of the sun on your skin, or gazed at a familiar moon under unfamiliar skies? There is something euphoric in waking up somewhere new. I long to breathe in the airs of ancient cities , sleep under new stars. I want to go looking for answers only to come home with more questions. Not belonging anywhere or to anyone. I am my own. Armed only with what I can carry, forever seeking to dirty my feet with the dust of unexplored earth.
I am most myself when I am on the road.
I don’t know if this wanderlust is genetically wired or just something ingrained in the corners of my soul but whatever it is, it is a part of me. It would be a shame to not embrace that. I feel homesick for places that I have never been. I long to travel across oceans to understand how others live. Don’t you find it incredible how all seven billion of us share such a small planet but our experiences can differ so vastly? I want to set foot on all seven continents and see the histories and futures of their civilizations. I want to see the beauty of mother earth that was here long before man even made its mark on her.
“What’s the rush?” you ask, but don’t you see? Time doesn’t slow down for anybody. Tomorrow isn’t something that is promised. I’m young, and I wish to chase these dreams while I’m young. Young enough to still jump off cliffs into Adriatic waters and stay up all night to watch the sunrise over the Colosseum and fall in love with strangers that I’ll never see again.
I don’t think there was ever a time where I wasn’t like this.
As a child without wings of her own yet, I relied on the storybooks I read to sweep me away to far-off places. I wrote my own, crafting worlds that I dreamed of seeing, roaming with the wild bears of the Arctic or skinning my knees on foreign cobblestone streets older than my own country. I wanted to run, even then. That child, she knew that there was something more out there and she knew that one day she’d chase it for herself.
And of course there are moments I wish I wasn’t like this. I wish I was content with a great American daydream. I understand that everyone’s priorities are different, and that’s okay. That’s what keeps humans interesting. But as for me? I long to be rich in experiences. I’d rather own nothing and choose to see the world than earn the world but see nothing of it.
I can’t say what I’ll think when I come to the end of my journey. I tend not to give the future much thought. Time is a funny thing – most people see it as a straight line. Beginning to end. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But I like to think of time as more of a loom, weaving stories and lives together. And if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that just as with a spool of thread, time eventually runs out. That’s why I want to go now.
I hope that someday I will look back and know that I gave life my everything.
Is that a cliché? I don’t mind. I tried to see it all. And in that relentless and passionate search, that great love affair with the world, I found the things I needed most. Along the road, I met loneliness and I met home. I met love and I met pain. And ultimately I met myself. And I learned what it is to feel it all.
I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll be back. It may be tomorrow, or maybe in a month or a year. It may be never. I can’t yet see where the road ends, and secretly I hope it never will.
So you see, I have to leave. Adventure is calling. The universe is tugging at my sleeve again.
It’s a wild world, and we’ve everywhere to go.