Do you ever walk into a room and you smell crushed coriander and Indian bay leaves that were simmered on a stove twenty-four hours ago, and suddenly you are hit with such an overwhelming saturation of homesickness (the good kind) and longing (the exciting kind) and wanderlust (the beautiful kind), and it just smothers you and sweeps over you, and in that second you are taken over by images of yourself walking those winding sun-bleached streets of Delhi or looking out onto the sun-dappled valleys of the high Kashmir, where you can hear a rooster nearby or the distant shifting of a glacier, and you smell those spices intertwined in the woodsmoke as they float from a nearby village on the breeze.
Folks, my heart is aching right now. With joy, with adrenaline, with love, with nostalgia (so much), with wanderlust (so much), with an almost unfathomable amount of homesickness for the world. It’s as simple as that.
Last night and this morning I spent hours upon hours with probably one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met. We will be spending the next several years traveling the world together (with at least 12 countries under our belt by this time next year). She wore a scarf from her travels and had a soft voice as she spoke of her stories from around the globe, which we swapped and delved into as she cooked a spicy coconut curry from Northern India that she was taught when she was over there “however many winters ago.” We found out where we each most want to go in the world. Where we would never go again. Why we do this. How did we begin this. And all the remarkably small events and degrees-of-separation that lead us to each other and then, somehow, bizarrely and wonderfully and fatefully, here.
Whatever happens, happens, but when I say that I am living my dream, I mean it. Something kept coming up in our conversation: dreams that we share and realized that, hey, we could actually begin to accomplish them. Dream of an exploration of Iran; of weeks upon months of backpacking the Far East; of the spice markets and vanishing tribes of Ethiopia, of the lava-ridden craters of the volcanoes deep in the Congo; of an epic, epic, epic photo book that we may have just agreed to collaborate on and bring to fruition, which would, well, change everything.
All day these past few months and especially today, the images of these places and these goals have been plastered to the forefront of everything I do. Lifelong dreams, remarkable accomplishments, connections with lifelong idols, are suddenly not just possibilities, but are on my calendar. Are business calls. Are real. Are happening. There is so much I want to say here but it’s really too soon, but I just had to say something. Hence this babble.
My heart is bursting at the seams for this extraordinary chapter about to begin. These amazing people. These dreams coming true. These dreams already come true.
Here’s to those nights when you love your life so much that you’re too excited to sleep.
Here’s to living a life so full and so rich that the smallest things have the power to move you to tears of joy; even something as small as the smell of coriander; of indian bay leaves.