Please forgive the forthcoming sappiness.
I always seem to meet the most incredible people when I travel. And I always seem to be traveling, so fortunately, I’m always meeting incredible people. People who walk me to cafes instead of merely explaining how to get there; people who lend me wetsuits and surfboards and warm coats; people who welcome me into their homes, who make their homes my homes, whose friends open their homes; people who actually consider whether their homemade meals clash with my morals; people who share their Coronas, their whiskey, their Milo, their wine; people who pick me up at the airport, who drop me off at new breaks, who reveal hidden waterfalls; people who give me birthday cards and Christmas cake; people who show me things I’d miss on my own. People, in short, who make me feel like I’m not on my own. Who make this big world feel small.
Not so many places that I’ve been have felt like “home.” There have been a few: I instantly felt like I belonged in Paris. New York has always been “the City.” My city. I never seemed to make a wrong turn in Glasgow. And I still think I’m a Californian who just happened to be born in Jersey. I didn’t fall in love with the Goldy the first time I came here. I felt comfortable, but that’s different than feeling right. And that’s still different than feeling at home.
I don’t believe home is a place. I believe it’s a person. Sometimes, it’s people. As a constant wanderer (and hopeless romantic), I conveniently pin “home” to movable being[s] . I have found family on the Gold Coast, and it’s for that reason that it feels like home.
My family in the States will probably tell you that I have no trouble–at all–leaving people behind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fought back tears while boarding a bus. That’s a lie; I can tell you that it’s happened twice in recent memory. Ask Yudi about the bus ride we shared. I’m terrified of walking away. I hate leaving people I love nearly as much as I love leaving. Nearly. So, I choose to believe that we’ll run into each other at Versailles, at The Pass, at the QT Hotel. It wouldn’t be the first time. Because it is a small world, after all. And, of course, you’re welcome to come with me. If not, until next time, at least we have Facebook. But seriously, thank you. For everything. And see you soon…