Or that’s at least what it felt like for a long time.
June 26th – marks the day in my diary where we flew back to Europe. First to Lisbon, Portugal and after eight hours our journey continued and ended in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Or ended, let’s say this journey ended and another one began.
I’ve got to be honest. When we landed at Schiphol Airport and walked out of the airplane, towards our luggage I remember asking Tom “What am I doing here?”. I looked around me a bit bewildered. I looked and read all the signs I saw. ‘It’s all in Dutch again’ I thought, ‘How weird.’ I listened to the conversations people were having around me, without any difficulty I could understand them. ‘How strange’ I thought yet again. ‘Alright Lisa, focus.’ I told myself. ‘You’re going to see your family after nine months. That really is wonderful. Not everything feels obligatory.’
At some point, Tom started talking about going back to the Netherlands. I, especially at that time, was not ready for that thought yet, at all. We had talked about me continuing the journey by myself but also going back to Europe together earlier than planned. It didn’t take long for us both to realize we wanted to see and experience everything together and to also end this journey together. I always come back to the thought where I see myself seated, taking in the view and how much more joy it brings me when I picture myself being seated next to Tom, taking in the view together. There’s such a strong happiness I feel in sharing moments with him.
It took me a while and quite some tears to accept the thought of going back earlier than, at least, I had thought. I told Tom I really felt like I had to go to Bolivia and still had to be there on the 21st of June. I noticed as soon as we decided together that, that was okay and when the date was really set and booked it brought back a certain calmth to Tom. Knowing when we would go back to the Netherlands again seemed the ingredient for Tom to be able to fully enjoy the rest of our journey. However for me, in the beginning, it unsettled me. The day grew closer and closer with each day and that fact unsettled me tremendously. At some point I was a bit done with my own pity-party and told myself to fucking enjoy the fact that at that moment I was in South America, the place I had been wanting to go for so long. Meditation helped a lot. Each morning after focusing on my breath and inhaling deeply, I told myself to merely focus on today. Where I was and what I was doing that day. It brought me back to feeling immensely happy, lucky and thankful.
I also had to fact-check something for myself. Even if I had wanted to keep on traveling for a longer period of time I couldn’t have. Money isn’t endless and to be frank going back after June 21st was a stretch money wise. Everything pointed to having to go back earlier than I had wanted to. I had to find peace with that and it took me a while. And I had to remind myself it wasn’t all or nothing or now or never. Leaving didn’t mean never being able to come back. I am learning sailing calmer waters or better, different waters is life expanding as well. There are a lot of things I want to do and see and I am now seeing being back can be the start of all that just as much as well.
What had felt like an obligation has turned into a new possibility and I’m all for that.