When I talk about my travels, people often ask my favorite city, and I can never answer. In fact, I’m not good with favorites in general and can rarely choose one, be it color or song or movie. But if someone were to ask my favorite moment from my time abroad, I could answer in a heartbeat.
My last trip of the year was to Split, Croatia. I was sad that I would soon be leaving Europe, I was stressed about finding a job, and I wanted to take one last trip to relax and sit by the sea. It was spring, which is by far my favorite time of year. The grass was green, flowers were in bloom, the water was warm enough for wading. I didn’t have any real agenda, so I spent most of my days wandering around town at random, stopping into shops and restaurants whenever I had the whim.
I stopped in a park one day and sat on a bench under a tree to people-watch. It started to rain, a gentle rain that fell quietly and cooled the air to the perfect temperature. My tree sheltered me completely, and I pulled out a book, dry and comfortable, as people rushed past with hoods and umbrellas. The breeze was cool but not cold and had that perfect spring-rain scent. And while I read under my tree, in the rain, I felt completely at peace. I wasn’t worried about money or finding a job or leaving Europe. I wasn’t thinking about the future at all. For one of the only times that I can pinpoint in my life, I felt like everything was okay, and everything would be okay, and I was happy.
The title of this blog, Kelsy in the Present Tense, was meant to remind me not to dwell on the past or future and to enjoy the present. I didn’t succeed in doing that very often, but this moment in Split is one of the few times that I did. I can still smell the freshness of the air; I can still feel the coolness of the breeze, the lightness in my heart, the contentment in the pit of my stomach. I spend far too much time getting caught up in the uncertainties of life, and moments like these are too few and far between. I’m aware of them, though, and maybe I spend too much time looking for them; maybe they only happen when I’m not thinking about it. I plan trips and adventures, seeking this contentment, and I only seem to find it when I forget to look.
The big adventures I had abroad were wonderful, but they’re not the ones that I think about the most. The moments I treasure are the quiet ones, the peaceful, subtle, perfect ones. Because really, maybe I love to travel so much because I’m just looking for a place to feel at home.