Friday, July 15, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Jumping for the sheer joy of it
I realize it's an over-used saying on home decor items, picture frames and who knows what else, but they aren't kidding -- there really is no place like home. Over the last couple of weeks that I've been soaking up the Northern California sunshine, this has become all the more clear.

Of all the things that I love about travel, one of the best things it teaches you is how to appreciate the little things--like enjoying the simple pleasures of being home or with those that you love. It's something not to take for granted, yet we so often do. Trust me, I understand this. We often get caught up in everything that life throws us and don't notice how we're overlooking the everyday pleasures. They're right there staring back at us, but it's easier than you think to be blind to them.

Well, the last two weeks gave me the chance to take those blinders off and soak up all the goodness around me. It didn't take any kind of exotic trip or passport stamp to get me there, but that didn't make it any less worthwhile. Funny isn't it, how being home can remind you of that?

Whether it was sitting on my back patio with my sisters, laughing over the most inconsequential things, the quiet moments at night where only the crickets and rustling leaves make music or even the slap of my shoes on the pavement as I walked the dog--these are the things I'm most grateful for. They are the memories that will make me smile, laugh and get ridiculously fuzzy inside about. They will be my go-to photos, my having-a-bad-day reminders and all the silver lining I'll ever need. No matter where I go in life, I know that I'll always be able to come back home--even if not literally.

To all the travelers, wannabe-travelers and world shakers out there, I hope you yourself can take a moment to appreciate where you are and who you're with. Everyone has a different place to call home, and different people on whom to rely; it doesn't matter how far away or near you are, it never hurts to reach out and say hello. You just might get back more than you expect.

As for my own mom, dad, sisters, family and friends---you made being home one of the most amazing adventures yet. I can't wait to see what comes next and I hope to have you along for the ride. Until then, I'll let the photos below express what my words cannot.