The first thing that always hits me when I travel back to the south, where my Mom and her family is from, is how much I miss my grandparents. I spend weeks, sometimes even months, preparing for the trip so excited to explore new things and places I hadn’t been to in years past. I gear up knowing it will be a totally different experience now that I’m older each time. And yes it is different, because each time I have a deeper appreciation for my grandparents and family, for the time we did get to spend together when I was younger, and for the foundation they built our family on.
I always expect to miss them when I’m back in the south, especially in South Carolina, but I never realize how much until it smacks me in the face. I thought I was craving adventure and exploration of somewhere new, but when we arrive in their city, in their same home, I don’t realize how much nostalgia I feel for their familiar faces, their voices, their laughter until I’m standing in it.
This time in the midst of exploring a new city, Asheville, I stumbled upon something (or rather someone) so unexpected but so fitting. At the bed and breakfast we stayed at they had “social hour” every evening from 4-6. Usually a good group of visitors would come to mingle and talk with everyone. We ended up meeting this older adorable and super sweet couple from Florida. Their presence was magnetizing because of their love for travel and adventure and because of the visible love they had for each other. In SO many ways, they reminded me of my own grandparents. It’s funny how certain things or people fill the gaps you feel in life sometimes. Nothing will ever replace my own grandparents or their love, but having this couple who was so interested in my life and goals and unbelievably encouraging made me smile.
The takeaway is, it’s funny what we find when we think we’re out there searching for something different. I ended up finding a familiar feeling I missed in an entirely new place.
Thank you for that little surprising gift, world.