Last week I was was brainstorming with some colleagues to identify specific experiences, moments and feelings that tend to be collectively shared by individuals of a particular age and demographic. We stumbled upon the intersection of life where one leaves high school, and in some cases, heads to college, and a thought sprung. For some, that’s the first time they’ll ever experience what it’s like to be homesick. At that exact moment I did my best to think back to the times when I’ve felt that. And while I could remember those times, the feeling didn’t quite resurface.
On the train home from work a few days later, while ritually glued to my iPhone – thumb furiously sliding and tapping away at no less than ten apps in a matter of minutes – I came across a photo that brought me back to my last trip, Budapest. Suddenly, my stomach dropped and I was filled with a subtle, lingering sadness. Not sad to not be in Budapest, but sad that I wasn’t traveling.
I was homesick.
I was first bitten by the travel bug when I studied abroad in Ireland. It was the first time that I climbed out of the comfort of my childhood and experienced what it is really like out there. That we have way more in common with other people than we think, and what we don’t have in common – but go out of our way to learn – makes us better.
When you travel you’re swept up in the moment, doing your best to soak everything in, to commit new places, people and even buildings to memory so that you don’t lose out on one ounce of personal enrichment. Every trip on which I’ve embarked puts me back there. To that place where I started on a journey to not just explore places, but cultures, and actually open up my eyes.
It’s a good place.
On that note, I’m stealing a little piece of inspiration that Gadling shared on Facebook today.
Ready, set, go.