“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”  – Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

“And yet, I am sorry to leave this place that has become my life in such strange ways. ” – Laura Metzler

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.  That is the price  you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney

I’m so excited for this next trip to Europe.  It will be a welcome break, and I’m dying to travel, again.  More importantly, it’s also the beginning of a lifetime of adventure with my husband.  Sometimes, after I’ve been back in America for a while, I get depressed because I think my travel stories are the most interesting thing about me.  My journals and blog entries while I’m overseas are lively and entertaining, with funny stories about the strange things that have happened or the wonderful sights I’ve seen.  When I return, I just feel that I don’t have anything interesting to say.  As the years go by, it’s more difficult to get farther away from those experiences.   Sometimes I look back on my adventures and ask myself, “Did I REALLY do that?  Did I really live THERE?”

I miss the big events and travels, but I also miss the little things from every day – the way the streets looked when I walked to work, the smells from the market, the color of the buildings, the countryside speeding past the car/train window, the dinner conversations accented by wild hand motions and a dictionary, tropical rain on my shoulders, living out of a suitcase, relying on strangers,  careening taxi rides, the solemnity of cathedrals, working with colleagues who embrace adventure,  the wild happiness I felt, the friendships I shared.  It’s hard knowing that my closest friends from the past couple of years are scattered all across the globe.  They can be found now in Spain, Australia, the UK, Russia, China, Italy, Romania, Canada, Germany, around the US….and the list goes on.  (Of course, by the time this blog gets posted, half of them will have moved to another new country.  That’s one of the many things I love about them.)  We’re separated by miles and even death.  Our lives together had such an intensity and isolation that strengthened our friendships, and they’re the biggest part of the Things I Miss.