When I was a kid I loved collecting rocks. Sometimes I would have to dig for them but other times one would sparkle right before my eyes and that was an easy find for my collection.
I would look through the rocks in my bucket and each one would come with a memory; the recess when my friend beat me in a race to the brick wall, the birthday party in a park when we ate a Little Mermaid cake. It was a special way to relive moments in time through found objects.
I don't collect rocks anymore, but I do collect gems from around the world. And by gems, I mean people. They live in my mind as a collection in the form of fond memories in foreign lands.
Living in different cities and travelling around the world is part of who I am, but there is something about it that brings me sadness, and that sadness is for the people I leave behind.
Sometimes the relationship leaves a big mark; a best friend in that city I lived in, a woman who restored my faith in humanity after comforting me when we were robbed on the streets of Chile.
Sometimes the relationship is brief, yet powerful.
Sometimes you have a conversation with a stranger in another country and you realize this person sees the world through a similar lens, and you envision the memories you could create together. But alas, they will only exist for you in this moment, for a couple of hours, over drinks at a hostel.
I see the people who choose the nomadic life and I am envious. I long for that. But I also know that the process of letting beautiful people go over and over again would wear on me. And so, maybe the full embrace of a nomadic life isn't for me. Blips of it will do.
To the souls I've met around the world;
You have a special place in my grown-up rock collection, and even though we may never see each other again, you're a gem in my mind that shines. And you're the reason why my nomadic heart clings.