Happy Thanksgiving from Somewhere Other Than Home: Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
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Happy Thanksgiving from Somewhere Other Than Home: Guanajuato, Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

This post, written in 2013, seems to portend our later long-term move away from the U.S., a journey that began in Guanajuato in 2017.

It feels good to know that I could meet you on the street anywhere in the world, with only your backpack and a few choice provisions and we could do something together. We could be a part of something larger than ourselves; perhaps a university, or a small language school, a drum circle, or maybe a dance class. And we’d love or hate each other just as we do At Home.

We could pluck ourselves out of the places that are familiar and the routines that have become automatic and take only the most necessary things with us. Inevitably, as we wander unimpeded by the weight of all our worldly things, we would choose paths, quite by accident (it would seem) that lead us to each other. We would meet people we feel we’ve known before. Some of them would be friends. Some would be adversaries. Others would be endeared to you or me in ways that are hard to describe. Some of them would remind me of you or other people in the small, synthetic world that I’ve carefully constructed for myself At Home.

It’s remarkably comforting to find people I care about everywhere I go.

And sad.

I hate to leave here, but if I never did, I would then have to miss the people At Home.

When you and I cross paths in different places, during different lifetimes, we can still play at life like little children who are delighted on their journey through life to cross paths with any other child who knows how to make believe. We can take whatever is there and use it in our imaginings to understand each other and ourselves better. And we can take ourselves very seriously (the adults will laugh at us) as we build and destroy, pretend, and make fun, believing in our own way that what we’re doing is all very REAL.

When we part, I may believe that we’ll meet again, though we won’t. Or I may believe that we’ll never cross paths again though we will. Travel and the serendipitous connection between me and others is a mysterious undertaking; a continual discovery of new and old relationships.

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