We pulled away from the Gatwick gate and rolled down the taxiway for another take off – saying goodbye to London and the new/old friends I have there. I sat in a contemplative state, squished like a sardine in a tin can, with my in-flight necessities; bottled water, yogurt/granola, a latte, my mandala journal and music. I was so excited to be meeting up with my girlfriends from Key West, but I needed the few hours on the plane, to ride the wave of emotions that accompany my farewells, and switch gears into the new environment of Italy and the upcoming time with my girls.
I watched through the window as the last views of England faded away and tears came to my eyes… Why do you keep doing this to yourself Eryn? This is like some bizarre form of self-torture. Will you ever see these people again? I listened to my favorite Ben Howard songs – they remind me of my soul sister. And it occurred to me that Siggy is one of the only people I know that can relate to how this feels… Tears flowed. OMG Eryn, crying on a plane, really? Really?? What are you 8 years old? C’mon… It’s been a common occurrence though as I’ve made so many connections with beautiful people everywhere I’ve been and it always hits me on the plane.
I wonder why I get so wrapped up in these new connections? Maybe it’s because I’m traveling alone. Or maybe I connect more deeply with people as I float around being so far away from everyone I know back home. Or maybe it’s because I’ve learned to give each moment with someone my full heart and undivided attention because I know I’ll never be in that moment again, in that country, with that person. I mean honestly, unless great efforts are made, the likelihood that I’ll reconnect with anyone I meet out here is, well, improbable. And that’s what really makes it so damn difficult. It’s not like at home where you visit friends in your hometown or drive to North Carolina to visit your best friend when she has a baby. (I miss you Erin R.) At least you’re in the same country and it’s fairly easy to visit people when you want to. But these are connections from all corners of the globe – Sad realization I probably won’t see them again… Oh Eryn, stop being a drama queen.
I’ve been so fortunate to find these great people everywhere I go. It’s like I’ve been in this protective bubble as I’ve been moving around and these really special people have been hand picked and placed into my tiny orbit at the right time. It’s truly been life changing and I’ve learned so much from each person I’ve spent time with.
It’s also hard to comprehend the gravity of the fact that the new people and experiences introduced into my consciousness are, no doubt, influencing my life’s trajectory. I mean, with no set plan of where I’ll go next, (the majority of the time) I find that the influences of the new experiences and people I encounter do play a role in the shaping of my plans. Never before has the metaphoric choice of Door A, Door B, or Door C led to such different paths for the future.
A new someone told me last week that I looked alive. Can you believe that? Alive! That might have been one of the most powerful compliments I’ve ever received. I – look – alive. That of course reminds me that at one time I may have looked dead. Although this person didn’t know me then, I know it to be true – and it’s all the more reason being told I looked alive was so striking.
The, ‘looking alive’ comment really has me thinking; I’ve noticed since I’ve been traveling, I’ve had this profound gratitude that brings on emotions at unexpected times. Whether it’s my own personal classical guitar serenade in India, the most beautiful sunset in Venice, saying goodbyes in London train stations, or late night talks in a tent with Siggy in Portugal, I do get emotional. I do. I think in the beginning I was a little embarrassed about it and tried to suppress it – but now I embrace it. Because I am alive! And it’s being alive and embracing that, that allows me to experience the emotions, whatever they are. I feel them, move through them, take action on them if I want to, and then go about my day. Instead of what I used to do where I was either too busy, or I’d just push them aside and distract myself with television so I didn’t have to feel them. I don’t do that anymore! I don’t want to do that anymore! I like being alive! I like hearing my inner voice and listening to it. And I’m so grateful that I’ve been given (and taken) this opportunity to come out here and feel myself through these new geographical and emotional territories.
For now, I’m making the most of being alive with my girlfriends from Key West and trying not to think about the goodbyes I’ll soon have to say to them. Then I’ll meet mom in Germany this weekend, so that will be a big deal to see her after all this time. So that’s all for now, my favorite peeps. More soon on my time with the girls and our fabulous trips to Naples and Florence – Ahhh, wine country. I wonder if it will smell of herbs and lavender…
Departures Mandala – England to Italy
Sig babe, look, I ran into your favorite London graffiti! Vicky and I ran across it one day and knew I had to try and recreate your picture 🙂 I miss you soul sister!
Only fancy expensive chocolates can bring smiles like this
Vicky dear, would you like to meet me here for tea? How does your Thursday look?
Ok, who’s buying me these for Christmas? Make sure you also buy me a wheel chair for when I fall and bust my ass…
Here’s Simone and I having a bloggy good time. Simone is a friend of Vicky’s that I met in Key West earlier this year and has a successful blog called, Lady of the Cakes. Check out Simone’s blog here http://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com She’s German, but currently lives in Spain and she just happened to be visiting Vicky while I was there. She encouraged me to move forward with my blog idea early on and “just write!” This is Vicky’s dining room in London where all the bloggy magic happens – oh and my cousin Nolan’s special fundraiser was born here too! If you haven’t checked out Nolan’s fundraiser, please click here http://gfwd.at/1xxL8vZ for more info.
Sooo… Welcome to The Brewers Arms of Sussex England. What’s so special about this nondescript pub 2 hours outside of London? Well, I’ll tell you…
They have a donkey… Meet Becky 🙂
That’s right… A donkey! This 35 year old donkey is a fixture in this small town pub and comes in nightly for her dinner and to greet the guests. I read about her in one of the local papers and knew this was a must visit while in England. Who needs Big Ben and Parliament when you can visit Becky? Yep, cute furry animal where you can also partake in an adult beverage wins every time!
I was even lucky enough to have a handsome Englishman accompany me to visit Becky. I said, “Hey, how about a visit to Sussex?” He said, “Sure, sounds good, I’ll drive.” I neglected to mention that we were driving to Sussex to visit a donkey, but I broke down and told him when I realized it wasn’t a 30 minute drive like I thought. Woopsy, slight miscalculation on timing… He was a good sport though and we had a great day getting lost in the country – oh, I mean, taking the scenic route. LOL
Here’s Becky hangin’ with the locals 🙂
Kris J. look I found your Sherlock Holmes pub!
This was one of my favorite and most unexpected meet ups on my trip. This is my cousin Sunny. We’ve only hung out a few hours in the states as we never lived in the same vicinity and didn’t grow up together. But she is wicked cool and also a world traveler. She currently lives in Grand Cayman and is a photographer and dive captain. Now that’s a way to make a living! We got to spend the evening together in London and we talked a lot about how hard it was to always be saying goodbye to people as you travel and the challenges of being in ex-pat communities. Yep, I get it!
Ok, we might have had a little champagne that night… Or a lot, I’ll never tell.
I miss you Sunny Moore – hope I get to ‘accidentally on purpose’ run into you again out here in the world… XXOOO