My flight home to Atlanta departs in one hour. Waiting at the gate, I chat with a couple from Houston on their way home from a two-week cruise. She’s quiet and warm, opening an empathetic smile each time her husband asks me to repeat myself. He’s older and reminds me of my dad, chatty and friendly, but a little grouchy, too. I’m excited to be seeing him tomorrow, and to be home for Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe this part of my journey has ended. My emotions are mixed but mostlyI feel incredibly satisfied. I’m proud for all the ways I created this experience, and also deeply grateful and humbled by all the ways I stumbled into it with dumb luck. From this leap of faith, I'm more confident about the future, despite so much uncertainty.
A poem comes to mind as I consider my plans after my trip home for the holidays. I saw it in a restaurant the night my roommate Regina arrived in Spain and it's been with me since:
Caminante, son tus huellas, el camino y nada mas;
Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar.
Traveler, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more;
Traveler, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
-- Antonio Machado