The places that live inside you

You left home when you were 17. Looking for adventure, looking to get away, looking to be great and to be different. Montreal was a place of late nights and big love, and the first taste of freedom.

From there it was always moving, for jobs or school, looking for love or to run away from it. Vancouver-Mexico-Cuba-Ottawa-Ecuador-Senegal-Peru-Bolivia-Costa Rica-Nicaragua-Ottawa-London-Kenya-Bamako-Moncton-Vancouver.

You have this theory that you’ve held on to for a long time, this theory that all of your trips and all of your experiences have dug little holes in you. All of your homes, and all of your lives have burrowed right into your soul and taken hold. So while you may not live there anymore, they still live inside of you, and you feel them, always.

Mexico feels like frustration, like being angry all the time. Like being 18, and being grateful to be there, but not really getting it. There’s also regret, your 28 year-old self mentally slapping 18 year-old you for not getting it.

There’s Kenya. Kenya is like a blanket that covers your soul, a warm Maasai shuka. It covers you in sunshine and the smell of Africa – burning incense, and something else.

Ecuador is a tight little package, a perfect little bundle of adventure, journeys, and nighttime bus rides. The best year of your life, shining like the sun right inside your heart.  Years later, you still have dreams of it. You always will.

Mali is not comforting. It is a puddle inside of you, a dirty puddle that you tried to avoid, but that still leaves your flip flops muddy. It’s also the smell and taste of Africa, but not as nice – yes, the incense, but also the garbage, and something else. Still, you revisit this corner, because you wish you had learned more, had more patience.

London is so hectic and sad and tired that you try not to think about it. This is where you ran away to, when you didn’t have the will to stay; this is where you ran away from, when you didn’t have the will to stay. And there is still so much longing and sadness in that corner of your soul that you try not to revisit it.

And now here you are, in your new for-now home, with your new for-now job, right on the Pacific Ocean.  Your new town is helping to fill in the cracks between the places that live inside you. You are healing from these adventures, learning to breathe and let things go. Let this town prepare more space for your next lives. And along the way, you continue to move, move, move.

Because that’s the thing: this won’t end. The need to travel? To leave? To look for bigger and better and grander? It runs in your gipsy blood. So, maybe the jobs are hard to find and that’s your excuse for always moving, but be honest: deep down, did you ever want to stay?

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