Blooming Where Planted

“Kayakstination”: Noun. (1) To procrastinate by plugging random airports on faraway continents into Kayak and searching for inexpensive flights to Bangkok, Istanbul, Tehran, Dakar, anywhere. (2) My favorite method of procrastination.

Today, I caught myself checking ticket prices to Lima next summer. Yes, we’re thinking of going to Peru! Kenya’s also on our travel menu for next year, as always, and I’m hoping we’ll have a chance to swing by Ethiopia while we’re over there. I love planning trips, even when I know they’re trips that might or might not happen. I love dreaming about visas being stamped into passports and foreign languages in my ears like music and that thrill you get when you step off the plane into a place you’ve never been before in your life and you don’t know what to expect but you know you’ll remember it forever. I want to hug the whole world in my arms. I want to go everywhere.

But sometimes I wonder if my mind is searching for elsewhere a little too much. If I’m not living in the moment enough. If I’m not appreciating the here and the now.

Earlier this year,  a friend and I were wandering my urban neighborhood, savoring the precious short New England summer, when we discovered this gem. A tiny rose garden tucked away in one of the busiest parts of Boston. I found my way back to the rose garden last weekend. Those warm summer days were long gone, but to my surprise, the roses were still blooming, and a little bird was singing cheerfully in a fountain. An oasis of green and fuschia peace.

A few years ago, at twenty-three and in the midst of a full blown quarter life crisis, I was talking to my grandmother one day, and she told me, “Bloom where you’re planted.” She told me to treasure every moment of those uncertain, beautifully struggling years of early-twenties-hood, because I’d always look back on them and be thankful for them. She was right then and she’s right now.

I don’t want to miss any more rose gardens, whether physical “happy places” or intangible moments. This is my reality. This is my life, and though I’m here and not on a plane to somewhere far away, this life here- yes, here and now- has depth and beauty and adventure and there is always something to discover right around the corner if I’m present enough to look for it.

Travel is awesome, but adventure isn’t always a plane flight away.

Here’s to blooming where planted.

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