slap dash


Syar and I send each other regular bursts of static re: travelling, third culture kids, heimweh, anywhere but here - the thing I keep talking, living, breathing, working towards, the spirit of whatever this blog is devoted to capturing. This post on wanderlust is equal parts interesting and infuriating - it’s beautifully written but bless your parochial socks, ladies, and ease up on the ‘everything is exotic!!’ vibe. Digging this comment, though:

My comfort zone is the liminal place, where I’m either just arriving or on my way out. My real challenge has been learning who I am when I’m staying still and building the kind of community everyone else seems to want to escape from. 

Welcome to the last two years. Wanting to leave can eclipse the here-and-now and swallow up your entire life, if you let it. So I learned to let it go. And now even with my thesis deadline, and the boredom of hermitude, and the faint sense I’m sacrificing so much for the dumb and unknown, things are really effing great. I have my health and travel money and beasting self-confidence. I have giddy crushes that are reassuringly stupid, and I have the arse-end of a terrible summer, and I have memories of people at events that led to tears and joy and love. And I have closure with the city, finally, and with myself

My departure date is too soon and there are loose ends to tie up and favours to beg and words to write, so many words. I am writing out everything I already know and it’s an awful mess of sarcasm and rage and scorn and sincerity. Not enough thoughts and too many feelings, but somehow it works.

I’ve been playing around with the naming of things. Today I invented jetflag as something to describe feeling forever out of sync with the places you move through, and knowing you have to keep pushing through it. I’ve been looking for the next adventure since the moment I came back two long years ago. Thanks to Sydney I’ve learned how to be content; now I’m ready to learn how to thrive. 

'I feel like I need to get away,' she wrote in that email, 'so I can figure out what I am…' If you strip away all the support, the family, the friends, the brown-eyed lover who brings you apple cider on Sunday afternoons, then you will be left with just yourself for once. What’s that like? Get to know that for a while. Figure that out. Come home a long time from now with more strength, better posture, great understanding.


So you want to go away. I do, too, unendingly, ferociously — let’s talk about it. I want to see and do spectacular things in my life. Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, traveling the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, kissing at the top of the Eiffel Tower… I want to string experiences together like souvenir key chains, so I jangle with adventure when I walk. I want to hear other people’s stories. I want to learn new languages. I want to get into, then out of, my own head.

We want, we want, we want. At home, in the air, on the move, I want without sense or satisfaction. And after becoming an expert in wanting, I have no experience in resolution — so if we’re having a conversation here, then you tell me what to do next. I know how to be home and, now, how to go away. But how do you do both? How do you board planes, see volcanoes, immerse yourself in foreign worlds yet keep the people you love and your place among them? Can you travel trailing relationships behind you and trust they won’t get damaged? Can you go away without deserting what you left behind?