It’s Not About The Destination…But It’s A Big Part Of The Story

by Stephanie Walsh · 15 comments

in Travel Thoughts

Footsteps in sand

“Packing up. The nagging worry of departure. Lost keys, unwritten labels, tissue paper lying on the floor. I hate it all. Even now, when I have done so much of it, when I live, as the saying goes, in my boxes. Even today, when shutting drawers and flinging wide a hotel wardrobe, or the impersonal shelves of a furnished villa, is a methodical matter of routine, I am aware of sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived, we have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hair-pin on a dressing-table, not an empty bottle of aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood. This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. Today we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”

– Daphne du Maurier, “Rebecca.” 

I came across this inspiring quote recently and it really struck a cord with me. It describes so insightfully how Andrés and I have created a life and memories, however brief, in numerous different places, since we first set off on our travels at the start of January 2012.

We have lived in different countries, cities, towns and villages, spending our nights in various hostels, hotels, apartments, bungalows, houses of friends, airports, bus stations, buses and in our trusty yellow tent for the last 10 months.

We have left fragments of our life in each of these places. Not physically, but emotionally. Our memories of these places incite memories of our life, of our travels and of our relationship. We have lived, loved and laughed in tiny hostels rooms with no air conditioning, under the blackness of a starry night sky in our tent and on 12-hour long bus journeys across the plains and mountains of great countries. All of these moments, and these places have shaped our relationship, our travels and our life, no matter how big or small.

It’s beautiful to think that we are scattering our story across the earth. Visions, memories and emotions, associated with those places, come running back to our minds within an instant and I delight to remember them. I hope we can continue to create happy memories in this world, even if it’s just outside our front door.


Do you feel like this also, that “we leave something of ourselves behind…something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood”? Does this thought comfort you or make you sad?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 wandering educators December 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

it’s so true!!
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2 Cat of Sunshine and Siestas December 4, 2012 at 6:57 am

Very poignant. For me, my happy transition to living in Spain was finally letting go of hwat I might be missing at home, and beginning to look at it as NOT missing what everyone else at home was. Five years into it, I still get the “You´re so lucky!” line, but it wasn’t luck – it was a carefully planned decision that hasn’t let me down yet! While I haven’t made a home outside of Spain yet, each place I have lived in here has takena little piece of me.
Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..You Know You’re in Small Town Spain when…My Profile


3 Stephanie Walsh December 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

Aw, that’s lovely Cat, and a really great way of looking at it. I tend to get caught up thinking about what I’m missing back home too, so I’m definitely going to take your advice and think about all that I am gaining instead! 🙂


4 Micki December 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Lovely and poetic. While we are leaving pieces of your stories behind, you’re also taking little bits of the world with you wherever you go…
Micki recently posted..A Little Slice of Hot Tub Heaven at the Delta Residences at Sun PeaksMy Profile


5 Stephanie Walsh December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks Micki, I love that idea and hadn’t thought about it that way!


6 D.J. - The World of Deej December 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Great post…I think about this often. Not just the places around the globe that have touched me, but all of the people I’ve encountered. I imagine looking at the globe from space at night and seeing a light for the location of every person I’ve encountered. Boggles the mind really..
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7 Stephanie Walsh December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

Wow, yeah imagine! I really like that thought too. We have also met so many people, from so many different backgrounds. It’s incredible to think that after you meet them, life just goes on and they continue moving around, as do we. HUndreds and thousands of little twinkling lights constantly moving across the globe. 🙂


8 Terry at Overnight New York December 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Lovely quote from “Rebecca” — and astute observations about what’s gained — and what remains — from travel.
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9 Stephanie Walsh December 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

Thank you Terry, I just fell in love with that quote when I found it. I’ll be coming back to read it for a long time to come, I think.


10 LeX @ LeX Paradise December 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Agree with you..

We always leave great and bad memories behind but we learn from each of those moments which is good things.

Rethink about those moments make myself a better person 🙂

Never stop travel and keep discovery on!

LeX @ LeX Paradise recently posted..Fly to South Korea this coming winter with AirAsia X !My Profile


11 Stephanie Walsh December 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thanks Lex! Travel has definitely been one of my biggest educators! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!


12 Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home January 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Lovely post! You leave a bit of yourself, of your energy, essence, everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. And you gain a bit of all places and people you meet on your path.


13 Stephanie Walsh January 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Absolutely! It’s nice to think we carry a bit of everyone and everywhere with us, all across the world. It’s how we stay meta-physically connected. 🙂


14 Andrea MacEachern January 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Great post! Travel certainly does leave us with fond memories, new experiences that teach us something new about ourselves and the world and even a new way of thinking sometimes!
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15 Stephanie Walsh January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Definitely. I feel that travel has changed me…although I cannot put my finger on what exactly it has changed…but I know there is no going back. I cannot be unchanged.
Thanks for commenting!