“I can define myself around the journey. I can become the journey," Erden says. "I am that person now — a nomad, a transient.”
Last weekend, Ellen asked if I would listen to something with her, something she'd heard while running errands. Something that she finished listening to in the parking lot of a Staples, and then entered the store in tears. So I listened.
My friends, I don't know who you all are. I don't know everyone who reads this blog, and I don't know if anyone who knew us personally before we traveled reads. Yet as this is my space, the little corner of the internet I pay a small fee to be my own, this is where I share my heart. I am often hesitant about sharing my heart so publicly, except that I always hope that someone, somewhere will read my words and feel less alone, feel inspired to change, to release, to cry, to laugh.
It's often no longer talked about, but it's not forgotten amongst me and my family that we did travel. It was cut short and we spent months grieving. Only now, after the mark has come and gone, the day when we should've ended our year long journey was a month ago, can we truly begin to move forward. It would've been over now anyway, we say. Only it's not over. Those six months spent on the road changed us irrevocably. Beautifully. They were so needed. We are not the same people, none of us, even our daughter. We are nomads, we are transients. Our circumstances are dictating much in our lives, and we are facing much that we need to face. But the truth of it all...whether or not those around us see it, or want to see it, we are changed beings. We cannot possibly be who we were before we left, and most importantly, we don't want to be. We are allowed to define ourselves by our journey. Who we are now, who we will continue to become, how we want to live from here on out.
Erden Eruc said it so beautifully. Please read or listen to his story here. We didn't travel for nearly as long as he did, and our methods were vastly different, but we feel what he feels. You'll catch us all with that faraway look on our faces, we are gone. We aren't in the kitchen or the grocery store or wherever we are physically standing. We are gone. We are on the road.