All 4 of us were seated at the kitchen table and I was picking at the glue in between the green tiles staring at all the crumbs that got caught in between. “We are getting a divorce, but it’s not because we don’t love you! “ I was 9 years old and my dad had been sleeping in a different room for months.
The rest of childhood was a blur splattered with awkward and painful memories. My dad slamming my moms cell phone in the door. His new beach house with a living room that smelled strongly of a dying old person. There was lots of dust and I held my breath every time I walked through.
My mom’s new boyfriend who called me babe and who was obsessed with the Red Sox.
A family trip with another new boyfriend to Long Island for Thanksgiving. His nephews mixed corn, mashed potatoes, chicken, AND ketch-up all together on a paper plate. It’s the only way they will eat! The house smelled like dirty dog and cigarettes. After my mom and him broke up, he sent me a check for my birthday and I ripped it in half and pinned it on my bedroom wall. Ruthless.
That talk at the kitchen table marked a line between normal and free childhood to heavy ups and downs. I begged to get lost. All that consumed my mind was finding a way out of the cloud.
I chose to go to university to the farthest school that would accept me. I didn’t even visit it before I put down my deposit. This was before I realized that I could study outside the USA. When I realized this, I moved to New Zealand to finish school.
I think that life forced me out of my base for special reasons. One of my roommates told me that I look like I am searching for something.
No one has the same story for why they travel. But I hope yours comes from less of a place driven by escape. But I always find myself saying thank you to the pain because it was what pushed me off the cliff when I might not have had the courage to jump without it.
I remember crying into my carpet in middle school promising myself that I would find a way to get out no matter what.
Life finds its own way of changing. Especially, when you’ve changed yourself. I don’t travel to escape anymore, but because I am enchanted by all there is in this world and how each place has its own special way of nourishing and destroying me.