So. You have this great idea to travel the world and make friends all over the world, and you do it. You leave everything and make the jump, and a few stops in you make a good friend. You have that connection. And you’re lucky because it keeps happening. You meet new people, you connect, you laugh, you share, you cook together, you eat together, you brush your teeth together, you’re in each other’s pictures, and eventually you say goodbye.
And then you say goodbye again. And again. And again. And mother of god it feels like you’re leaving pieces of your heart behind every time. Because no matter how much you want it, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever see each other again. In fact, chances are against it. Every time you open yourself up, you’re at risk of losing another piece, and some places – some people – take a really big piece and leave you stumbling and gasping for breath.
So, what do you choose? Do you travel and live in a way that protects you and your heart, guarding it from leaving pieces of itself – or at least from leaving any large bits – behind? Or are the connections worth it? Are the friendships worth it? Is the love worth it?
I hope I’m always strong enough to choose the latter, because damn, it has been amazing. My heart hurts as I leave Barcelona. There’s no denying it. There are pieces of it all over the city, carried by the friends I made, the experiences I had, and by random daily kindness and generosity. I admit it took more than I expected, but that’s only because I got more from it and more out of it than I ever imagined, and I will carry it will me always.
I’m on a flight now to the States to see family and friends for the holidays. On January 11th, I leave for Morocco, open to meeting more amazing people and to making more connections and memories. And if I’m really lucky, I’ll leave bits of my heart along the way.