Okay, this one goes out to my fellow travelers and adventurists. How do you respond to how was your summer/ how was your trip?
I find myself bombarded by this question on the daily, even more so now that I’m back at Uni and surrounded by friends I haven’t seen in several months, and every time I’m hit with it, I find myself at a loss for what to say. It was wonderful? It was beautiful? It was incredible? It was the most incredibly prolific, life changing, thought provoking, unimaginably difficult while ridiculously fulfilling life experience I have ever found myself in?
“It was great! How was your summer?” – Me, every single time.
I have no single response for how my summer was, because no single sentence will ever come close to explaining what I experienced. Nor will I ever really share the entirety of what happened this summer with another human. One, because some parts of it are better left unsaid (you all know this is true hah), and two, because every story and experience I have from my time abroad is sacred, and contextually based. What I mean by that, is that the experiences themselves were so meaningful because of the environment I was in, the mindset I was carrying, and most importantly the people I was meeting.
I may never regale another human with my travel tales in their entirety, simply because I don’t believe they’ll understand, and I will admit that to some extent that truly saddens me, but I find so much happiness in knowing that the other individuals I shared my travels and adventures and struggles with will always remember our moments too.
Trying to explain a trip that so powerfully changed you in a way that doesn’t make you sound like some kind of hokey, hippy dippy, yoga doing, travel blog writing (wait, is that low key me?) human is damn near impossible. But, to those other humans I met along the way, or completed my program with, the feeling was a mutually shared experience. So I suppose I must find consolation in that.
I must admit though, that I forgot that this was what home is. I forgot that normal twenty one year olds don’t spend their summers doing the things I did, seeking some kind of clarity within themselves. The friends I’ve come home to spent their summers doing internships and studying for their GRE’s. Arguably what I should have been doing, but what I’m so glad I did not.
For wanting to come home so badly, the feeling has all of a sudden come to resemble falling into a pool of stagnant water.