My mom told me once how quickly I could detach myself from physical places, even if they have become part of me. I moved around a lot as a kid and giving up a house full of memories never bothered me. I always felt like memories are the first piece of luggage you pack with you when you go somewhere new, and if you take them with you, how can you miss them? I guess I learned the hard way that something physical has one big downside: it can disappear. What you hold in your heart, travels with you as you go.
If you never change environments, you can never continue growing. After a while, your same old day-to-day routine will become second nature. Arms and legs moving on autopilot. The same old tasks and drives. I was always amazed at those who wanted to stay in the same place forever because I could never imagine what that felt like. After a while, I get this almost funny feeling that the place has done its service to me and it’s time to move on to something new. I could never stay in one place for all my life because I would be doing myself a disservice.
As cliche as it sounds, I want to travel the world. Go to an Island and lay in the sun all day and if the sun is too much… just take a deep dive into the ocean. Drink from coconuts and drive with all the windows down. Or backpack through a city where I don’t speak the language. Walk the small streets that lead to downtown bars and run the wide fields of sunflowers with the occasional cows. It is so fascinating to realize that there is a whole world out there, and while that sounds extremely logical because yes of course there is a whole world out there, words sometimes don’t even capture the complexity of that thought.
Imagine all the people who do the exact same thing as you just on the other side of the world. Who likes their coffee the same as you, drive your car, wears your shoes, and has the same hairstyle? Staying in one place forever means you never get to see what is out there. People can walk the exact same street as you, but while you walk it for the first time, they have walked it all their lives. They know all the little cracks and crevasses. What tiles to step on and which ones are broken? The world is so very different but in so many similar ways.
I like to think of places as chapters in the book of life, each serving its own purpose until it is time to move on to the next. Not knowing what is coming can be daunting but it also means that everything that will follow is a surprise. New connections, new lessons and new memories to fill my suitcase with and bring with me to the next stop.
Written by: Gauri Ghisai
Editor: Nimrat Kaur
Visuals: Rea Roitner