“You will never again be completely at your home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
This quote has been on my heart as I prepare to leave New Zealand for a second time in two years. I have grown to feel as equally connected here as I do in New Hampshire. At first this thought plagued me, but now I’ve come to realize that I am enriched by it. I am blessed to have experienced life with people from all over the globe, and I am rich in relationships that have restored my soul. My friendships here have caused me to scrutinize the friendships waiting for me back home and determine which ones may be unhealthy for me; I have also recognized areas in my relationships back home where I fall short and need to improve if given a second chance. This perspective has come with distance and exposure to how people in New Zealand live- the way they deal with stress and love, hope and failure.
I will never be the same. I am changed, and I carry a piece of New Zealand within me wherever I go next. The more I travel, the more places and people I carry in my heart just like e.e. cummings talks about in his poetry. The beautiful thing about it all is that the love that I’ve experienced in New Zealand has made me cognizant of areas that I am accepting inadequate love and am giving inadequate love. I look forward to having a chance to repair these areas of my life upon returning home.
So yes, some people may say that traveling is only for rich people or for people who do not love where they live, but I disagree. In my travels I have found a deeper appreciation for my family (I love you, Mom and Dad), myself, and for where I come from. The changes that are stirring in me are healthy ones that would not have transpired if I had stayed stagnant in New Hampshire this summer. I miss home and look forward to coming back, but I love that I have more than one place (and country) to call home.
As Winnie the Pooh so wisely said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”