I’ve been going back through my travel notebooks this week to do a few writing assignments and I have so many emotions about it.
I know, WHAT? Me? Emotional?
I can’t believe how much we saw and did and ate this year.
I can’t believe that we traveled non-stop for five months.
I can’t believe that it has come and gone – something that we planned for so long.
I can’t believe I’m not still trying to find that dress or pair of socks at the bottom of my bag or trying to pack it all back in because all this fit in yesterday and WHY ISN’T IT FITTING NOW?
If I got to a section I liked in my notebook, I would read it out loud to Luke and we would laugh until we cried. Sometimes I would read parts to myself and I could feel my sinuses itching, my eyes burning with tears.
Not because I’d written anything particularly poignant, but because I am so happy, so incredibly grateful for having had these experiences.
I am getting choked up just writing about it (if you don’t know already, I cry a lot).
One of the things I wrote, which appeared in one form or another so many times throughout these journals was this: “I keep pinching myself, reminding myself to enjoy it all, to take in all that is happening around me. As usual, it all passes too quickly”.
And it did. It keeps doing so.
This year is a complete blur and it’s nearing its end and I don’t even really know how that happened.
Why can I not manipulate time?
Why can’t I make it all slow down?
Why do moments that you cherish pass you by before you can even appreciate that they’re happening?
It already seems like years ago that I was riding bikes through ancient ruins in Cambodia and Thailand, so long ago that I was sweating so much in Vietnam that I had to go into convenience stores and stick my head in the refrigerators.
I use that horrible phrase “remember when” more than I’d like to admit.
Remember when life was carefree?
Remember when our biggest decision was what night market to eat dinner at?
Remember when we had bracelets up to our elbows?
Remember how proud of our awful tan lines we were?
Maybe that’s why travel is so addictive. Every moment is a rush and once it’s over you kind of can’t believe that it is or that it ever really was. So you go in search of those feelings again, but dammit you don’t ever want them to end.
But they always do. Eventually, you need to stop and sit still, even if only briefly.
I think you need to take stock, to read back over what you’ve written, to look back at pictures and really appreciate it all.
These moments are ones for the books, they’re ones you’ll talk about for the rest of your life. I know I will. These are the memories I want to make, these are the “remember whens” I want to spend my life talking about.
Does this happen to you? Do you find yourself grasping onto moments that you know are going to pass you by?