Now I'm Home

Submitted by Addison Manning to Contest #6 in response to: Write a story about someone who started a road trip ten years ago and hasn't stopped since.... view prompt


You’ve been driving for a long time. Not like this is weird, this has become a part of everyday life by now. Your in the middle of Mexico City, attempting not to get stuck in traffic. Finally, after a long wait in traffic, you turn into a hotel. You park your small blue van and quickly head inside.

You book a room for the night and get handed your long-awaited key-card to your room. On normal nights you would stay in your van, but tonight felt different. You wanted to look at Mexico’s bright stars on a warm spring night, wishing for nothing else in the world but to be right there.

You walk up to your room and plop down on your bed, not bearing getting changed into something more cozy. You roll over and stare up at the golden tiled roof, sparkling like a chandelier at a fancy restaurant. You suddenly start to think about home, and old memories from your trip. Suddenly a thought comes up.

Should you stop?

Stop traveling? Leave 10 years behind and start a life in a house, a real house, finding a soulmate, having kids, starting a family? What home do you know? Do you have a place to call home? If so, where?

Maybe you should just think this over.

You sit silently only listening to the thoughts spiralling throughout your brain, filling every inch and crease with thoughts, until you finally figure out that one question you’ve had:

Where is home?


***


You’ve been on the road for miles. You’ve been all over the world. You’ve been from Florida to Washington, from Canada to Mexico, from Colombia to Argentina, from one end of the world to another. You’ve seen mountains and lakes, volcanoes and desserts, democracy and inspiration. History in the making all around you.

You’ve made so many friends, like Asama Lino from Japan, or Jaclyn Khan from Greenland or even Fulani Tranche from Bulgaria. You’ve made so many trips to a gas station that you’ve memorized the names of every gas station you’ve been too, from the first one to the last. You’ve made a living going out to explore. You’ve made a choice.

But that choice comes with a cost.

The cost of being far from relatives, while your away with nothing but food, water, and hope. The cost of spending thousands on gas, and supplies. The cost of getting lost, and not knowing where you are, with no idea where to go, picking the closest road at random and following it.

But why? Why would you do this, what's the reasoning behind sitting behind the wheel and driving to who-knows-where?

Maybe it’s to explore, seeing the beauties of the world like no man has seen. Being out and about for over 10 years, never forgetting a place you have been and the fun you have been through. Maybe it is to see the world from somebody else’s view, to help the homeless, and to change the minds of people who won’t use their money for nothing other than their own needs. Maybe it is to collect, to get collectibles from everywhere and keep memories in them, holding those special memories inside like a safe. Opening them to your mind when you look at them, creating a melody full of memories. Maybe it is to make friends and family, to keep lifelong relationships with everybody, to always have someone to talk to, being friends with the world.

You see, these reasons and more, are the reasons you do this. You have given up life of staying in a house, spending time with family and friends, just calling one place home. 

But again, who needs home.

Home is this car, the car where you have traveled miles seeing the wonders of the world. Home is the road, the one you have followed leading you to friends. Home is the culture, the cultures you have picked up on from one place to another, sharing them with people you have never seen before. Home is the people, the friends and family you make. Home is the places you’ve seen, from mountains to valleys. Home is memory after memory after memory, every memory, from the ones in the back of your head to the ones you have just made. Home is nowhere but here.

This is home.


***


You suddenly jump up, running out the door and sliding down the stairs. You quickly sign out of your room, before even staying for the night. You race to your car and hop inside, putting in the keys and slamming on the gas pedal.

You fly across the streets before getting onto an old dirt road in the middle of no-where. But this is no “no-where” this is no unfamiliar place. This is the place you’ve seen everywhere, every city, every beach, every desert, every mountain. Everywhere you’ve been for the past 10 years.

This was it.

You slow down on the breaks and drive swiftly on the dirt road, watching sand fly through out the starry Mexico night. You look up at the bright moon, glowing like a bright star, a star for courage, a star for strength, a star for hope. It lights the night, showing the fireflies dancing in the dusty lands like ballerinas, not having a care in the world.

You fix your eyes back on the road, the old dirt road ahead, leading to anywhere. Images fly through out your head, all what the road could lead to. Friends, food, culture, laughs, memories, and more. Endless possibilities of what it could be.

You glance around as you enter new land, leading a grassy terrain. You immediately know it’s Brazil, and happily sit up straight in your seat.

And in that moment, you feel hope, hope that something new will come and something good will happen. As you look out into the starry night, you turned up the radio, and looked at the road ahead. Silently you grinned.

Now I’m home...



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