Monday I said “goodbye” to my sister at the airport. She and my parents came to visit me for les vacances de Carnaval. Lo pasamos re bien, creo. It was really interesting because it really affected me when I said “bye” to Hannah. I got really emotional and even cried, which I never do when despidiéndome de la gente. Then I started thinking about it and I talked to Francelise when I got home. She noticed right away that my voice was wavering and that I had a hard time speaking without tearing up. She gave me a hug and suggested that it may be harder because I am in a different country. It’s true, this is the first time my family has visited me in a foreign place, I thought. At the same time, when I was telling Francelise this, she was telling me how difficult it was for her when Maé went off to college. Francelise only has one child and this August she went away to university in Lille, in northern France. Francelise concluded that it was good luck that we had found each other, that way I can have an authentic experience in Guadeloupe and at the same time I could keep her company. That made me feel better.
Even now, as I start thinking about my next move (no idea where that will be yet), I can’t help but think how nice it would be to pick a place and just call it home, but that has been an issue for me for a while. It’s hard to just stay in one place when there is a whole world out there to get to know. I feel drawn to different places, but at the same time I feel the comforts of the many places I have called “home,” calling me back. It’s difficult to know whether or not I should keep blazing new trails or if I should go back to something familiar, something comfortable, something less unknown.
This week I was swimming my regular route (see previous post to learn more about that) and I decided I wanted to go further than what I normally swim. I noticed that as I swam just past the point where I typically turn around, the current shifted, the water grew darker, and the fish grew more numerous. It was remarkable. Just a few meters away from where I normally swim was a completely new experience. As I kept swimming further things started becoming less fascinating and they became “normal” again, but I was really captivated by how this scenario translates naturally in my own life at the moment. Sometimes a new world lies just around the corner of where we are now and we haven’t even discovered it. This makes my wanderlust spirit want to go a little further and a little further each opportunity I get. It definitely isn’t easy, but my need for discovery makes me want to keep moving.
It certainly comes with a cost. Like saying “goodbye” to my sister ‘til who knows when, when I started my swim back to shore I realized that I was a bit sea-sick. This never happens to me either. I’m sure I can attribute the sickness to being overly excited about swimming again after two weeks of only exercising on land, and the fact that I went farther than normal, and that I had to battle two different currents. But nonetheless, I didn’t feel good, and the whole way back I was trying to keep my mind off the nausea and on the wonderful act of swimming in a sea full of beautiful fish and clear waters. I staggered out of the water and went to where my friend was waiting for me on a nearby picnic table. I laid supine with a towel over my face until I felt normal again.