Over the course of my travels I had spent sporadic moments tearing up over my longing to feel like someone other than myself is in charge of my life. Being far away, especially in some of the lesser-civilized areas of the world, and not always able to contact anyone left me feeling squarely responsible for my life.
I always knew that a lifeline existed, and home was just a plane ride away, but it nevertheless at times felt more like I was burdened than free. And that is something that people should never take for granted or forget: being independent or far from home is liberating, but freedom comes with the high price of responsibility.
At the end of some of the more tiring days, I looked at my reflection in the mirror, hazy from being teary, and saw a helpless little girl instead of a strong young adult. And in those fleeting but heartfelt moments I would have given anything for my mom to swoop in and just take control of everything.
But like I said, they were luckily only fleeting moments. Sitting in silence, absorbing one enthralling sunset or another, worries would cease and quickly be replaced with gratefulness. I would once again be reminded of how amazing the blessing of travelling is. The longing for my mom and home, once again safely shuffled aside to the fringes of my heart.
Those small moments add up though, and combined with my ever-decreasing tolerance for the troubles of travelling, meant that I was more than ready for a visit from my mom! When she came to visit for 3 weeks, it was glorious, and I think we all felt refreshed at the end of it. It was such a relaxing holiday, and so easy for Norman and I because we didn’t have to do anything.
So I just wanted to give a shout out to my mom, to show my gratitude for the time we had together. It was an important bridge between the beginning and end stages of my travels, one that would have been rickety without her visit. I also learnt an important lesson through it: it is okay to want your mom! Travelling is fun, but when you’re young and backpacking it is taxing too. People shouldn’t be too eager to leave home and hop on a plane without looking back. The world will always be there, and you don’t have to forget about your loved ones in order to explore it either.