Recently I discovered a site called Girl Gone International that has some good quotes that are applicable to my life. The one that I’ve been pondering lately is this one in the graphic – never being completely at home because my heart will always be elsewhere. That’s the price I pay for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place.
Just before I went to Kenya, three weeks ago now, I discovered that the visa laws in my current home country have changed. While I might be able to obtain a six month visa (but I could also be granted only one or three months), it seems I would only be allowed 30 days per entry. That really makes living and trying to settle somewhere to learn the language well enough and build good relationships a moot point.
With all the cultural stresses I’ve been dealing with lately and with this addition, I’m heading back to my passport country. It was a fast decision as I had meetings planned in the USA already so it worked to buy a one-way ticket as my current visa will expire two weeks after those meetings. So now I’m in the throws of packing, saying goodbyes, grieving, and trying to process….all while helping my housemate prepare for her wedding – the same day I leave.
So while I will be away from my current cultural stresses (yet gaining new ones going back to my passport country) there is still the unknown of where I’ll live next, where will ‘home’ be next? I’m homeless. Technically, I have a home with my family for the next several months but how do I dig in and put down some roots to keep me stable, from wandering off, when I know that’s not where I’ll stay and I have to look to the future?
It’s the living in limbo; always living out of a suitcase; not knowing whether to dig in deep and grieve deep later; or wait and just skim the surface so I don’t hurt as deeply when I leave. How does one live in transition with no solid footing? It’s the life of a wanderer who has yet to find someone who can help be an anchor and a “home” despite not having a house.
So before you judge and say “Oh, you love traveling because you wouldn’t do it otherwise.” or think that it’s easy or fun or all an awesome adventure…know that under this smiling face is someone who also grieves daily for all the friends she’s met and will never see again on this earth. I’ve tasted Heaven’s glories here on earth because of those friendships but live in a continual fast of them.
I don’t do this for the travel or adventure. I do this because I am being faithful and obedient in what I am asked of by my Heavenly Father. It is not easy. Sometimes finding the me who I truly am is hard (she’s been gone for a while actually and only has recently started to return). Sometimes I wish for a companion I didn’t have to say goodbye to so I didn’t have to do this all alone. I’ve learned to adapt and adjust, but even the most adaptable reach their limits. With nearly ten years of this lifestyle I’m reaching mine.
So, when you see me next, give me a hug and and let’s talk life and catch up. I cherish friendships and meaningful conversations because they tend to be fleeting in mine. You can help me find a little solid ground in a life that feels in constant motion.