Bidding YIP Adieu

One of the gifts of traveling is seeing the world differently. Sometimes, it means seeing ourselves differently—what we are capable of and what we are worthy of. Sometimes, we realize that we can trust some more, love some more or that we can be trusted and loved some more. I think that it’s true to both the one who physically travels and the one who travels in the presence of he who physically travelled.

When we travel, we are blown away by the capacity of the human being to feel the same way or think the same way. Wherever we are, in another city or country, we receive a thousand affirmations of our humanness—our hopes, our desires, our trivialities, our vulnerabilities, our joys. We see universal truths as we peel away layers of our own traditions, practices, preferences or idiosyncracies. This capacity to feel the other and to find deep in our hearts that we are the same and that we understand each other has power to feed some of our deepest hungers or heal some of our deepest wounds. Perhaps, the more people travel in different directions, the more understanding the world will be and the more that it will be able to shed light on the assumptions that we have built in our own spaces, territiories and jurisdictions.

I believe in the capacity of the traveled and the travailed individuals to help their worlds see the other. As we bring stories from one place to another, we light a spark of interest, we open doors and windows in which others can peek into and see what must be seen. The experience is a revelation. It hums, it sings, it inspires. It is an instrument of new seeing and understanding.

But  there also is an aspect of travel that, to me, is still quite surreal. The pull that a place has on you years after you have traveled. Not all places do this to me. But there are certain places that I feel I must go back to. The pull manifests in many different ways and it never goes away. And it’s not necessarily because of the intensity of an experience or a vivid memory. I believe that we were meant to be in some places—in the past or in the future—and that the soul recognizes it. It’s the same with people we meet when we travel, physically or not. The impulse to make the most out of it because we might not see each other again is in the deep recesses of  our souls. We are more sensitive and attuned to what our hearts desire. When I sink into the sadness that comes with goodbyes, I wonder if it will take another lifetime for our souls to meet again. Separating ways casts a dent in my heart but I believe that having crossed paths, and having exchanged love and energy, we are meant to honor  the journey our souls are taking.

This recent soul encounter with our friends from YIP who we said goodbye to yesterday is probably one of the best travels I have had without physically traveling. And I will always remember the fullness of the experience. Because “the best trips,” said my favorite travel writer, “like the best love affairs, never really end.”


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