Everyone always tries to romanticize it.

How wonderful it must be to be a wanderer,

they say,

Where everything is beautiful

and none of it lasts.

Bridges and waterfalls and skyscrapers

and street lights and taxi cabs and rickshaws

and marble and glass and pebbles and straw

and you never know when you’ll come back.

You never have to solve your problems

you just have to wait them out

because you’ll be leaving soon

and none of it will matter

when you’re in a place where no one knows you.

It must be thrilling to feel the South African sun,

the Australian sand

the Brazilian rain

and to belong to none of it and all of it

all at the same time

You must laugh as the clouds sink beneath you

and you soar on to the next adventure

because it’s all an adventure

and you’re all so



But they don’t understand how

the summertime brings suitcases

and friendships fade by fall

even though you swore not to let it happen

it always happens.

People move on and people forget and

they can’t help it.

It’s just the way it is.

Days and months and years go by

and there are people you still think about every day

and you wonder how they are and what they’re doing but

you don’t have any real way of knowing.

You still remember how to greet in Arabic

and how to say goodbye in Spanish and

how to tell someone you love them in Bahasa.

If you went to Japan, you could tell someone your name

and how old you are and ask them the same because of

the friend you met in Gambia who taught you.

You catch yourself thinking in French and sometimes you can’t

think of the right words in English.

Early mornings and headaches at the airport

watching your bags on the moving belt

then you roll them outside and it’s so cold.

You crawl into a new bed that night and you cry

after you smiled for the strangers who were so happy to see you.

It’s exhausting and you long to belong.

Sometimes you wish you could trade your experiences

For their sense of home and family

Because you have so many homes and families your head spins

and you wonder if you really have any at all.

The sky doesn’t look the same here

The water doesn’t taste the same here

People aren’t the same here and yet people are always the same

wherever you go.

And we write and write and write and can’t explain it

although we try.

We can only capture pieces

Some of it is good, some of it is bad.

All of it is ours.

And they listen and listen and listen and can’t understand

no matter how hard they try.

So they say it must be wonderful to be us.

And it is.

And it isn’t.

It really isn’t.

But it is.

Some days I want to give it all up but if I did

that would just be another change and I’ve already gone through






Some days I swear I’ll buy a house and live there until I die

and I romanticize staying in one place forever

It must be so easy to be happy

without homes and memories and friends

so far away.

Everything you are is right there

And none of you is missing.

I wonder if I’ll ever be a whole person again.

But for now I’m a wanderer and all I am is plane tickets

and passports and pictures in my wallet.

And I learn and I love and I lose.

Hello and goodbye over and over and over and over.

And it’s hard.

And it hurts.

And I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.

So I try to romanticize it.

And I tell myself it’s worth it

to know beautiful things even if they don’t last

because nothing lasts at all.