This Path Leads Home

Hey world,

The funny thing about the last few days in Tanzania is that I've been totally calm, cool and collected. There was no giant rush of exhilaration or excitement; no fear or stroke of nerves.

It was just, well, familiar.  

My plane landed, and it felt as though there was nowhere else in the world I should be. I spent the night in Dar es Salaam with friends, and it felt like it was totally normal I was at a sidewalk cafe eating sizzling vegetables. The next morning, I sat in amicable silence with my driver for 8 hours as we drove to my new house in Iringa. A few hours later, I attended a welcome party/get-together my team organizes each Friday, and as I stood in a room with people I hardly know, it didn't seem weird.

It just felt right.

 Morogoro Region, Tanzania

Like my path shouldn't have led anywhere else but where I stand right now. 

Gangi Longa, Iringa, Tanzania

Like all roads somehow led to my house in Iringa.

Gangi Longa, Iringa, TZ

Like the roads led me back home. 

There was a Thought Catalog post that went up today called "The Hardest Part About Traveling No One Talks About" (you can read it HERE) that says that once you travel, or live abroad for a period of time, and return home, you realize that a part of you has changed; an internal shift has taken place where people can't understand "The way your dreams have changed, the way you perceive people differently, the habits you're happy you lost, the new things that are important to you". 

And it's this shift that can't quite be put into words, that can't quite be self-managed or tamed, that causes tension and turmoil within yourself -- and causes that intense desire to leave once more to root in your heart. 

The author Kellie Donnelly finishes the article by saying "They call it the travel bug, but really it's the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it's like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown then you did in the most foreign place you visited. This is the hardest part about traveling, and it's the very reason why we all run away again". 

I would challenge her phrase "run away again", as it makes it seem as though we are fleeing the uncomfortable rather than seeking to return to the familiar. Perhaps its as much one as the other, but I'd like to think that I returned to the familiar. 

 Despite that, this article largely sums my feelings between Tanzania, living in NYC, my desperation to return to East Africa, and that comfort and familiarity I felt as soon as I touched African soil. It's worth a read. 

As for me, I started work today and I'm still getting settled into my new home. Soon, I'll introduce you to all of that. But for now, go enjoy your week, and I'll enjoy mine!


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