Now that the jetlag has worn off and my belly is full of hummus, I can share with you what has happened thus far.
I have been journaling more than ever, feeling so connected
to my words and myself. Floating through each day, allowing what is meant to
happen to happen. I feel myself drifting instead of going against the current.
Allowing this trip to happen instead of forcing what I want to see or do. I
came with the expectation of growth and that was it. I truly didn’t expect to
feel this revitalized.
When traveling your daily routine is destroyed and instead
you must allow yourself to adapt to those around you and how they live. Because
isn’t traveling all about learning of other cultures and seeing how people live
through their eyes.
I could have never fathomed this trip would clear my mind so
much. I have made it back to the capital of Lebanon after traveling for the
past week to my dad’s village by the sea, then to my mom’s village up in the
mountains. Wi-Fi is limited in the villages; which allows people to connect
with each other instead of being submerged in the social media world.
We truly do not realize the amount of time we
spend stuck looking on our phones and focusing on other people’s lives. Life is
happening all around us and we need to look around and experience it.
Water and I have always been connected. I find myself reborn
in certain bodies of water, emerging from them feeling brand new. The
Mediterranean Sea crystal clear in color when you submerge into it and multiple
shades of turquoise when you view upon the horizon has always been one of my
favorite bodies of water. Etched into the sand on the bottom are designs
created by the waves and currents, as if the sea was creating art for the fish.
I swam past the buoys and all the other beach inhabitants. I wanted to be out
in the open water alone. I looked back at the shore and viewed the beautiful old
city of Sour in its luster under the sunshine.
Floating effortlessly from the
mass amounts of salt, I let my body become one with the water. Releasing my
legs, arms, and neck and allowing my entire body to just float. I felt a wave
of calm come over me knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I felt
safe as the sea cradled me, swaying me side to side. Squinting up at the sun
with salt stinging my eyes, I could not feel the pain or the exhaustion from
paddling so far out into the open water. I felt a sense that I was experiencing
exactly what I was meant to experience.
Emerging myself not only in salt water but also into the
Lebanese culture and the past of both of my parents. I went to my mother’s
village up in the mountains with her cousins and her aunts. I learned of the
lady my mother was as a girl growing up and how different she was from the
rest. It gave me confirmation to know I am her daughter through and
Her family lit up when they saw
me and embraced me. The glisten in their eyes was for my mother, they see me as
a younger version of her.
There are people you are meant to meet. Regardless of any
language barrier you are meant to connect with. A universal language exists
that goes beyond language obstacles. It includes emotions based on love and
care. It includes laughs and smiles and finding mutual interests.
universal language that allows people from two different countries to
understand each other entirely just with an eye gaze and a connection. So
regardless if people I meet speak my language, if there is a connection beyond
words we will be able to communicate.
Whenever I travel I try to always look up at the stars from
wherever I am in the world. Looking up at the same galaxy of stars from
different continents to be reminded we are all under the same universal sky. The
shine of the stars and the glow of the moon can be seen from wherever you are.
You just have to take the time to look up and see the moon
radiating and all the sparkles in the dark night sky.
We never take the time to
stop and smell the flowers. Since being here, I stop to gaze at the array of
flowers and to appreciate the beauty this country has to offer. I walk in the
gardens to see the trees and the magnitude of fruit they produce, the herbs
that take over all empty spaces of land and how the land produces meals and
snacks. In car rides I look out at the landscapes we drive by. The views change
from banana crops, to seaside and to cityscape.
In life you need to take time to stop and admire what is
around you. Take a breath in and realize how incredible the world is around us.
Even if you are not traveling, appreciate the little things.
Take the time to look up at the night sky. Appreciate how
the moon glistens to the earth every evening.
Take the time to swim out into the open water and become one
with the water as you float a top squinting up at the sunshine.
Take the time to appreciate the people around you.
Just take time to breath in the world around you in the
We have a tendency to take it for granted because we are
studying our phones and living through social media photos.
Take the time to disconnect and to smell the roses.