I’ve been stateside for almost a week, and it’s taken me just about this long to process my entire trip. Full of adventure, excitement, drama, emotions, rich conversations, and sister bonding, it really has been a “bonne aventure” so to speak.
I’ve had a thought smoldering away inside that I’ve struggled to understand. It began small and innocent, but I’ve chewed on it for the last few weeks and it’s become much bigger. In the midst of my explorations — through all the train rides, gorgeous countrysides, cheese platters, and v. good glasses of wine — I felt this nagging apartness. I was thrown into different cultures and experiences, gloriously appealing in their diversity and refreshing in their newness, an adventure high. But even though I was being swept away by these once-in-a-life-time experiences, I couldn’t shake this feeling that something was missing.
And would you believe it, as disgustingly cliche as it sounds, I think I was missing a sense of home.
I don’t like staying put. I’ve got an obsession with change, wanderlust, a boredom phobia, call it what you will, I’m on a constant search for new experiences. Always have been. But I guess growing older has grown in me an appreciation for the stability and comfort found in the knowing and being known by the people around you.
During my travels I got to do amazing things. I listened to nuns’ voices echo through Sacre Coeur as the ancient walls rang with reverent singing. I watched the sun fade behind the Scottish cliffs, the light dancing on the dark blue water crashing below. In a word, it was incredible, the entire trip. But I deeply missed being known. I missed community.
Greenville’s a great little city. It’s growing, and surprisingly full of corners I haven’t discovered yet. But I didn’t come back for the city of Greenville. I came back because this place has become home. There’s weight in having a space where you are loved for who you are, where you are surrounded by people who care about your soul. I think that’s quite rare, and I wouldn’t trade it for a million European adventures.