“Hallo, it’s insert name of my grandfather speaking.”
“Hi opa, it’s me, Gerrianne.”
It’s quiet for a few seconds.
“Gerrianne. How is that possible? You are so far away.”
“Well, that’s the advantage of modern day technology.”
The conversation goes on for a little bit. I talk to my grandmother as well. They’ve had a difficult week, so that’s why I gave them a quick call. They’re happy to hear my voice and read my Dutch blogs in a printed version. The phone connection is being kind to us. We talk for a few minutes and end the conversation with the promise to continue praying for each other. My grandparents are in their mid-eighties now. Life if fragile around that age. Yet conversations like these don’t make me homesick. They are simple reminders of being at home no matter where I am. Because family is always a part of me.
Yesterday I wrote a half-serious, but mostly silly letter to dear future husband. It made me smile. Putting those thoughts on paper (a.k.a. screen) helps me to process and think about how I want to live my beautiful and broken life. Family is a big part of that. Even though I am often far away physically, family still matters a lot to me. It’s the people that I am always connected with, no matter where I am.
When I travel, I’m at home in the world.
Travel has taught me the blessing of ordinariness, of rootedness and stability. It can be found anywhere on the globe.
It’s courageous to walk out the front door and embrace earth’s great adventures.
But the real act of courage is to return to that door, turn the knob, walk through, unpack the bags, and start the kettle for a cup of tea.
– Tsh Oxenreider
I recently read this blog from Tsh Oxenreider. She travelled around the world with her family #lifegoals. I would love to do that too someday. The stories, the pictures, it all looked amazing. Yet what caught me, was the end of the story. Returning home. Simply being with the people that you love. Walk to the kitchen. Make a cup of tea. She travelled around the world to learn what home means to her and her family.
And I get that. Because often when I am far away, home and family become more important than when I am right in the middle of it. Like that old Joni Mitchell song says: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” So some day soon, dear opa and oma, I will return to your home, turn the knob, walk through and have a cup of tea with you. Until then, modern technology will have to help us out.