An Open Letter to Those That Don’t Travel Often:
First, let me take the opportunity to start by saying ‘Thank You.’ As an expat and obsessive traveler, I find the fact that you don’t travel long-term quite refreshing. It’s not that I want to keep the experience for myself, but rather I delight in the realization that we are really quite a pair.
You sit in your office at work or at home, and in-between tasks you look through my pictures and read about my latest discovery. Yes, you start to daydream about the places you would go if you had just 4 days of quiet away from these four walls. Most likely, you think to yourself, “Man, she’s lucky! Not to have to work 9-5.”
All that is very true. However, I also sit in my tiny space of living, in front of fans because the A/C is too expensive to run, and I look through your photographs. I browse through photos of the new car you just bought, the color choices you made for painting walls in your very first home, and the newest additions to the family, all experienced through the screen of a computer. I think, “Man, they seem so happy! They’ve really set up a family in a nice little part of the globe.”
And at the end of the each day, we really do need the pair of us in the world today. You prove that settling down doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing as long as you’re happy and I prove that no one should stop daring to achieve. Both realizations are vital to what provides us with the human experience. Somewhere, we find our own personal comfort level among that delicate scale. Maybe I’m not quite ready to settle down like you. In all honesty, I think I grow more restless with each passing day, but being able to share in those moments with you even if through the pixels of a screen, give me a glimpse into a new adventure. One that I might or might not take in the future. Either way, I am able to take a small part in it as if it were my very own.
In much the same way, you partake in my expeditions as well. You get to see the crowded streets of bustling Asian cities or take in the vibrant colors of rich spice markets around the globe. Through my photographs, you can experience the strained or smiling faces of the locals as if they were looking directly at you.
Should you find yourself thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, just remember: You also don’t experience the stomach aches and night sweats from food not cooked properly nor do you wonder if you will be able to see loved ones for the holidays. Even so, I also don’t battle through the late nights of comforting a newborn or worry about paying for gas the next morning. But if either one of us should be asked why we continue onwards along the path that we’re going, we’d both answer the same: “Because we don’t know any other way.”
So to those that I have left back at home who have made the decision to leave travel for those special family vacations, I thank you. You have given me a sense of where I have come from and the ability to understand what is awaiting me on the other end of a touchdown back at home. In my travels around the world and my adventure living abroad, I carry pieces and moments with you always. Should I ever be in need, I relish in the comfort of knowing that you are right back where I left you, in the familiar home-sweet-home and I love that we have both found what truly makes us happy.