Over the years, I've sorta made peace with my nomadic soul and accepted that it's really just a part of who I am. Since last week, I've had a MAJOR itch to just be abroad again. Not anywhere specific (although I would take Colombia in a heartbeat), just not here. I always have that little nagging voice that reminds me that there is still so much world to see, streets I haven't roamed, and adventures to be had. It is so easy to feel that things here are a bit lackluster in comparison (not that life isn't about what I, Brandie, make of it or anything crazy like that) to whatever I go through when I'm not on U.S. soil.
So while going through this feeling and convincing myself that 'this too shall pass,' I branched out and went to a grad school alumni happy hour. I was talking to one of the new students and he said that he never ever wanted to live in the U.S. His tone was so adamant, almost angry and it just left such a huge impression on me for some reason. While I once said such dramatic statements in my younger years when I could only see the world in black and white (now everything's just gray), his statement made me question whether that thought was the baseline of my own rootlessness. That feeling of 'anywhere but here'. Yet when I hear something like that, part of me immediately leaps to the U.S. defense. I mean, the land of the free certainly has it's perks.....
Today, one of those perks reminded me of why it's good to be home. That perk is that my family is here. I've realized that all the experiences I run toward means there are experiences that I leave behind. I have missed weddings, births, funerals, birthdays, parties, graduations and more. I have new cousins that don't know me at all and others that only know me as the one that's always far away. And while there is Facebook, Gmail and Skype, there is really nothing that can compare to in-person sharing of experiences, being able to visit a sick relative, or just knowing that you can pick-up the phone to chat forever with someone without the static or cost of an international call across multiple time-zones.
Anyway, while my inner nomad continues to demand attention, I've found it a bit soothing all the things and relationships I get to build-on being home.
I would love to hear your thoughts so if you are an expat or just living far from loved ones, what keeps you where you are? Wealth, job, new loved one, plain 'ol fear?