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Thinking Aloud

September 20, 2013



I’ve been thinking a lot about traveling, what it means to be on the road and away from everything I view as normal. Admittedly, I miss living overseas. My few months in Uganda were so pivotal; it opened up a part of me I subconsciously knew lay dormant. I loved the early mornings abroad, right before the sun broke through into the sky, before the rosters cried out to let us know of the impending dawn, before the children woke to fetch water from the pump. I long for those moments, the beep beep of local taxi buses that beep and honk as they pass you by, seemingly offering you a ride and annoying you all at the same time.

So here I am, once again trying not to shed tears for urge that springs up inside of me. I get sad thinking about the urge I have to get on a plane, to land somewhere where I am not familiar with, to smell food, real food, to hear a language which at first sounds so different, but within a few days starts to feel familiar, and to wander down a street, turning around and around until it becomes familiar. At these moments, I simply close my eyes and type. I type trying my very hardest to remember each sound, each smell, each embrace, each moment, each frustration, each time I felt like I truly belonged there – wherever there happened to be – and not here. These last few weeks have been a bit hard, and if im honest I know it stems because it’s the one year anniversary of my time in East Africa. Somewhere this time last year, I was saying my final goodbyes to Uganda and Tanzania. Goodbyes had become all too familiar, and at that point I was tired of leaving. Tired of feeling like I would lose out on friendships, lose out on the meaning I had derived from interacting with people who became so very close to me. I don’t want to sound like a sap, but sometimes I really do get truly sad when I think of the life I am not living abroad. At the same time, I feel extremely fortunate to be working, and to be able to save money so that one day, when I’m ready, I can take off again, no strings attached.

The thoughts for this post came yesterday as I pondered feeling stagnant. I felt stuck, like I haven’t “done” anything with myself. As soon as the thought came, I told myself to let that go. I had just returned from Uganda, worked for the President of the United States, started my own business, and now am working to pay off loans and safe money. If this isn’t on the right track and “doing” something with oneself, I don’t know what is. I guess I just wanted to encourage myself and encourage whoever is reading. You are where you are supposed to be. Have a plan, work hard and execute it. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison because it can eat you alive. I’m so incredibly thankful to have a job and to be disciplined enough to save money, because if I can be totally honest, I depleted much of my savings while living abroad. Now that I get a check, my account is growing and I couldn’t be any more thankful.

So yes I’m home at a 9-5, but it’s not over for me. Who knows what lies before me. There is so much of the world to see, so much traveling to do. South America, more of Africa (my home), East Asia or Europe? The world is extremely too large to be limited and I will continue to figure out ways to see more of it, because I’m not ready to settle down just yet.

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