Our drive through the Colorado Rockies and short stay in Crested Butte and Glenwood Springs was one that was filled with some pretty amazing memories. It was hard to leave such a beautiful place, and leaving certainly brought its own dose of bittersweet emotions.
Happiness to have had such a wonderful stay in a beautiful place, and knowing there was home to return to. But yet sadness to be leaving.
I know leaving is a theme for every vacation or short stay. It’s inevitable. Something we know is coming. Yet we can’t always help the emotions that come with leaving.
Over the years, after moving and leaving places, journeying to others, I have come to realize that you never really bring yourself wholly back to where you were before that new place or location. You leave part of yourself wherever you were last.
No matter how often you scope out the hotel room looking for any stray shampoo bottles or phone chargers you may have forgotten, you never really gain everything back that you brought with you. What you left behind isn’t always material.
In a new place you may bring hope, happiness, excitement, and a mentality that prepared you (or didn’t) for whatever new adventure was to come.
Your new adventure or vacation passes and suddenly its about the things you leave behind.
You leave behind memories, maybe some footprints from a walk on the beach, or the bread you fed to the pigeons on the square. You probably left behind a charge at a gas station to help you travel, or a tip to a server at a small restaurant on that corner you used to walk past every day on your way to work.
Whatever it was, you probably also left behind part of your heart with someone or something.
That’s the beauty of loving other people and places. We get the joy of knowing we have.
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
I wish I could say travel, and journeys, and adventure, and loving others was easy. But it’s not. And in a way, that’s what makes life interesting. We get the privilege of being a whole human being. Of hoping and hurting and leaving parts of ourselves in other parts of the world.
In the end, leaving behind parts of us gives us a strength to carry on, to find new places and people to love. It gives us hope for the future.