I’m currently sitting in the stillness that a house only knows in the early hours of the morning, with the moon just setting and the rooms still quiet. The time change from Thailand to New Jersey has left me wired and ready to take on the day while the rest of the coast is cozy in bed, yet to meet the chill of this December morning.
Christmas lights warmly glow around the tree and sequinned nut crackers stand guard over the fireplace. Steam rises from my hot mug of tea, waking up my fingers as they cradle the extra heat. Frost on the windows makes me snuggle even deeper into my over-sized sweater, content to be watching the world wake up from the comfort of my indoor haven.
It feels strange to be home again, almost like I never left. The way time moves as we get older still sends my mind reeling through memories, grasping at moments that seem to move by with increasing speed and velocity. Five months have come and gone in what feels like days.
Words don’t seem enough to describe what this series of discoveries was like. That’s what this trip really was: discovering new places and new people, venturing within myself to grow, accept flaws, and face personal fears, while also finding drive, peace, and potential.
The list of things I’ve learned could easily write itself off this page, but what all these words are really trying to say is that travel expands not only the limits of what is possible in the world around us, but it nurtures new potential to grow within ourselves. Home will always be the same, but when we return from discovering new places reaching far and wide, external and internal, it will always seem different to us.
Home is still the same place I left it, with sleepy meandering streets in the winter and small town chatter. It is welcoming and greets me dearly with every return, a familiar hug filled with fond memories. These are the streets I wandered in the haze of endless summer days at the beach, watching shadows grow long as the sun kissed our skin and the salt tangled our hair.
Cape May will always be home, even though I may not always be here. Adventure and travel and exciting possibilities call me to leave, but in the same way the tides revolve around the moon, so too does my Cape May continuously draw me back here.