“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?