I’ve come to understand that truths behind words such as family, love, happiness, home and freedom are all based on a feeling versus a tangible place or object. During our travels people ask me where is home and it always takes me a minute to respond. There are so many places that are home to me, from the mountains of East Tennessee where I grew up, to the Philippines where I spent my childhood, or Chiang Mai where we have called home for the past few months. This past week we spent it on the island of Koh Lanta. It’s always a surreal feeling when you see familiar faces in completely foreign place. Aaron’s childhood friend Patrick came to visit, and though it has been years since we’ve seen him, our conversations felt like it hasn’t skipped a beat. Last time we saw Patrick was in our college apartment, bonding over cheap 40’s while him and Aaron played video games. Today we are here watching the sunset on an island in Thailand, (still drinking cheap beer), and catching up. The way he chain smokes and laughs is like deja vu, and seeing him felt like he brought a piece of our other home to us. While here, we stayed with our friends who were our neighbors in the same zen compound we once called home in the fall of last year. They invited us down to the island to catch up, so we invited Patrick to join us and for the first time since we left home, we are with familiar faces in a completely different place. I can’t pin why it felt like home, maybe it’s the island vibe that we connect to, it could be reuniting with Patrick after all these years, or sharing a small space with close friends again. Home is such a beautiful feeling, and its what keeps us traveling. We have found our pieces of home, friends, love, and freedom sprinkled in different places all along our journey.
Sometimes some of the hardest posts to write are the moments so beautiful that words fail. That’s why Palau is just now finding a spot in our blog, our trip to Aaron’s homeland of Palau was definitely an island from our dreams. His family welcomed us with open arms, and kept our bellies full with fresh seafood. Such an untouched gem in the middle of the pacific abundant with life. Chickens literally crossed the roads, clams sat in rows for easy digging, bananas and papayas lined the streets, ocean so abundant with fish I felt like you could reach down and grab them. Every time we went fishing with his family, they came ready with rice and soy sauce and we feasted on the freshest sushi right on the boat. As our tanlines disappear, we’re reminded of how much we miss the island vibes. We’re booking flights for July, and we’re excited to say we’ll see you this summer Palau!