Coming Home

"Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar."
                                ~ J. R. R. Tolkein

Schmaltzy? Maybe a bit. But if schmaltzy bothers you, you might want to take this opportunity to avert your eyes, close the tab, and forget you ever clicked on that link mysteriously favorited by Taye Diggs.*

This is a travel post. Ergo, according to the rules of the internet, it's riddled with schmaltz.

Consider yourself warned.


So we went out. We saw the world. And now we've returned home to familiar fences, a welcoming driveway, and a passel of wet and wiggling noses.

I'm not sure what to say about it all. It's a strange feeling, coming back to find the walls aren't nearly as close as they once seemed. For someone who's made it her business in life to avoid the world at large, being forced to face it day in and out, to acknowledge its splendor without turning away, to shake hands with woodworkers and make eye contact with sailors... it challenges your perspective.

Badass gunner, binding sails on The Hawaiian Chieftain.
To me, the world has always seemed a cruel place; a labyrinth of missteps, harsh stares, and sharp edges. I don't take chances because losing seems the most likely outcome. I don't go out on a limb because the ground is twenty feet below and I don't take in nearly enough calcium to survive the fall unscathed. But travel is powerful enough to show even me that boldness has a kinder side, too.

A side with banana slugs, redwood giants, and replica ships. A side that introduces you to badass gunners and warmhearted veterans working to give purpose to soldiers and underprivileged kids. A side that leaves you wandering the Nye Beach book district, where a retired astrologer reads your fortune and a sweet German shopkeeper insists that you "Take the Ishiguro" in exchange for your autographed work.

A side that makes you smile and feel a part of something that matters.

People need to go out on a limb for reasons great and small. To feel the sun. To stretch and lean and see things from every angle. To find the rare fruits and spy the silkiest threads.

Just as walking new paths leaves sand in your shoes, braving new adventures leaves sunlight in your soul. Will it last? Probably not.

But, as with bathing, there's a reason we repeat the process every so often, now isn't there?



“At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.” ~ Warsan Shire


*Totally never happened.