I travel. A lot.
Out of any given month I’m on the road for about 14 days. Never consecutively but it adds up. Usually I’ve got some member of my family with me – Sometimes a child, sometimes the hubby, sometimes a parent and sometimes a sibling. I’ve traveled with friends too and groups of reporters from all over the world who went on to become friends.
But this weekend I had the rarest of experiences in my crazy-making, 24/7, go-go-go life: I was home.
Not in front of the computer, not planning our big trip and not – thank the lord – doing laundry.
Instead, I was out on the front lawn with the kids throwing the Frisbee, in the backyard with neighbours having a burger and a beer, on the front porch cheering on the kids in an impromptu street race and visiting from house to house to look at neighbours’ renovations and creative jewelry designs.
Our neighbours hail from all over the world. Vietnam, Guyana, China, Germany, France and Greece to name a few. Some of their homelands are potential stops on our family adventure and as we chatted I realized that times we’ve spent in their homes and with their extended families has helped to shape our impression of those countries and fueled our desire to visit them.
It was a long, lazy day and a chance to hang out with people I care about. In the middle of it as friends chatted amongst themselves and the kids’ giggles could be heard up and down the street I realized that it would be these moments that we would hope to find in other corners of the world.
Neighbourhoods where we will have a chance to get to know the people who live there, break bread with them and watch our kids start friendships they can carry with them around the world.
It also reminded me of what and who we’ll be leaving behind and why we’re coming right back home when it’s over.
Today was the first time I realized that there is a very good chance we’re going to be homesick.
Thanks for letting us crash your ‘hood party! You may miss this but I have a feeling it will be well worth it. Plus, you’ll have even better stories to tell your neighbours when you return.
You are now official “neighbours!” Glad to have you in the hood.