The Ties that Bind

If you are a traveler, or know a traveler, this will make perfect sense to you... Because those of us who live a life resigned to the high and air ways, we tend to find things along the way to give ourselves a tiny sense of normalcy and stability. Being on that path for much of the last three years, I've collected and carried my share of memorabilia from city to state, country to continent.

He   totally belongs here, doesn't he?!

He totally belongs here, doesn't he?!

My first deliberate road buddy, was a traveling buddha, found in the maze of the weekend Flea Market at Eastern Market, in the city of my birth. His job was to protect me on my journey - to places beyond my former comfort zone. Placed on the nightstand of every home, hotel, and hostel in which I rested my weary head, we had a good and solid two years traveling together before I chose to continue without him. 

I had no idea that we'd part ways the following morning when I placed him in his turquoise glory on the nightstand of an Antigua, Guatemala B&B. But in the morning, as I prepared my bags, he purposely didn't make the cut. He looked so perfect standing out on the dark wood nightstand, next to the equally dark lamp. And since I was on my way to what I thought would be home... More on that later, but. In that moment, I knew. It was time to let him go. Or stay. Whatever.

The next to go was a handmade turquoise anklet, woven around sea-glass, polished coconut shell, and random beads; purchased from an incredibly hot {and creative} Tico (Costa Rica) near the beginning of my journey. Its purpose was to remind me to be true to myself. Always choose me. Stop following the crowd - hence its placement on my left ankle... I removed that one earlier this year upon realizing that I no longer needed this reminder. Yay, me!

Which brings me to the last piece connecting me to the road - a simple piece of string. Placed on the side handle of my twenty-eight inch honey green Osprey rolling backpack (aka home for the past few years) by another Tico (yup. The voyage unto me began in Costa Rica) with a tag attached for the bus ride ahead. Little did I know when I ripped the tag off, the string would mean so much more than the little piece of paper serving to match me to my huge pack. For some reason, I didn't remove it in that moment.

That little string traveled to more places than most people I know have been. Often joined by sticky airplane tags and similarly attached train and bus tags, my faithful companion held on as I jaunted about. Argentina, Guatemala, Belgium, Spain, Morocco... Everywhere that I went, the string was sure to go... That is, until today. I finally took scissors to it, forever ending our bond. In one quick snip, that last memento tying me to the road, is no more. Gone. Done. Over.

Why, you're wondering?

Because I am tired. Life on the road has caught up with this woman. And I wish to stay where I currently find myself on this planet. Actually, I’m staying. {“I’m finishing my coffee” – Walter Sobchak}. Many of my friends will likely chuckle at the contents of this paragraph... That's cool. I feel ya. But. While living in that last place I briefly called home, I’d considered clipping it on several occasions. Nothing would allow me to do so. Not even moving into my own place.

But tonight. Everything makes sense. All of the places I've been. Skins I've shed. Lessons I've learned. Woman I've become... This makes sense. Perfect sense... Cutting the cord to a life that is no longer mine is the right thing to do. One less reminder. One less connection. One less tie...

And now, for a proper burial.

What do/would you take with you? Why?