Do not give us diamonds,
For I am afraid they have no place in a traveler’s bag.
Do not look for us in fine restaurants,
For we have always found more comfort in the alleys, where the locals drink tea and cats go to rest.
Do not fret over our worn boots,
Their soles are sturdy and have carried us over sand dune and cityscape.
Do not fear our safety,
For the risk we face will never be as great as the tragedy of an adventure left unfollowed.
We seek out the hidden places, where the stars come out to play and our hearts have room to grow.
We sleep in train cars and on airport floors in the name of venturing just a bit further.
We yearn to be strangers in strange lands.
We do not make it easy to love us,
This we know.
There are missed birthdays and empty chairs at dinner tables.
There are holidays spent alone and gaps in conversation.
As we travel onward
The holes that we have left,
Eventually begin to close.
And upon first coming home,
We feel stranger than we have in any exotic bazaar or foreign field.
We return to the places left behind,
And things are the same, though now, somehow different.
We do what we did on the road and adapt.
Perhaps we sign a lease,
Begin a relationship,
Start thinking about settling down and in.
Then it hits.
The daydreams resurface,
Idle moments become consumed by thoughts of mountain ranges and maps.
And when the feeling of stagnation seems as if it can grow no larger,
We follow rivers and watch the clouds,
We speak to strangers and tempt fate.
What we can no longer carry is left behind.
And the fear of fitting into a box we were never meant to fill fades.
As we travel further and farther into the people we become,
We realize that home is in the hearts of everyone we have ever met.
That home is in every sunrise and thunderstorm,
In each bustling market and quiet meadow.
We realize that home is our own two feet,
And in the memories we hold on to.
Home is before and now and what comes after.
For the Wanderers,
Home is here.
By Alana Raquel