All the People I Could Have Been
I don't think I will ever be whole again.
People often say this when it comes to travel, especially when you spend just enough time in a place to make leaving feel like your heart is a cookie being broken off piece by piece, leaving a trail throughout the world of all the places you left a piece.
It's like a giant rendition of Hansel and Grettal without the gingerbread house and hopefully no witch killing.
Let me clarify further:
I was looking through photos earlier of my trip to Europe so far, photos of Europe that rapidly became photos of Africa, Sydney, Torquay, Africa on my first visit and eventually my hometown. In seeing each person in each phase I instantly missed them and wondered how I could organise my life to see them again. Quick calculations of what it would take to fly there, or here, or go via or whatever, before the reality returned that I couldn't do it all.
I all of these pictures I missed the person I was then too.
Which is strange. To miss yourself. I am still that person.
But I am not that person I was there and then with those people.
I felt this a whole lot in pictures from my first visit to Mozambique. I looked so un-jaded and enthusiastic. The world's most unqualified and hungover dive centre receptionist with a smile wider than her jaw. I missed her. That girl who thought only about a good time and never about a long time.
I miss the dork caught unawares behind the coffee machine at my old cafe.
The tie dye company days.
I miss drinking Crabbys on a clifftop on a shitty beach in England.
Working at a brewery in Western Australia.
I miss Palestine.
Man I was so tanned when I was with those gals in the pool consuming litre upon litre of Savannah in Zanzibar.
The list is never ending. But the most difficult part to accept is you will never have that time again with those people and that easily produces a sickening feeling in your stomach.
I always wonder, in another dimension, what would have become of her?
It truly makes my heart ache.
The strange thing is, that the more heart that breaks off, the bigger that little ticker seems to get.
I say this as I sit on a rooftop terrace in Morocco, so dangerously in love with the place. The smell of cinnamon. The red cliffs. The dudes with pinline cut facial hair that sit around until late each night playing cards. The perfect right handers.
And just like everywhere else, a little bit of my blood pumping cookie will crumble and break and stay here mushed into the dust and trodden under the feet of goats.
This, this is the bittersweet taste of travel.