I have spent a good amount of time traveling around various parts of the world. I love the lessons each place has to offer, but one of my very favorite things to see in each and every place I go are the friends and family of travelers either saying goodbye or welcome home. It's a very small part of each journey, whether I'm in an airport, train station or bus terminal, but it's something I love to sit and watch.
This small instance, often overlooked, is one that I consciously look out for. The human element in seeing people so vulnerable is endearing. No matter the circumstances, every person coming or going has a unique story, so I may never really know the power of the tears, of the embraces, and if they are joyful or sorrowful.
I remember the faces, the cries, whether it's a mother hugging a child one last time before boarding a bus, a friend embracing another one last time before parting ways at an airport, grandparents bending down to welcome their grandchildren in open arms, or a small family standing outside the window of a train car waving goodbye to a mother or father until the train finally departs.
Each story is beautiful in it's own right, and it's my constant reminder that each of us is human, that each of us love, and that doesn't vary much place to place. It's one more reminder that people are not so different from me. It's one more reminder to challenge stereotypes and combat bigotry. It's also my reminder of what's waiting for me at the end of the end of my own journey, and to cherish that moment entirely.
In a few hours I'll leave this place behind, bringing many memories with me. But I'm very happy to say that I'm finally going home.