Despite talking over instant messenger or email almost every day, living 8,000 miles away from my mom has been one of the harder things about living abroad. We are incredibly close - even having lived together in adulthood (which is totally different, fyi) - and that type of connection is hard to facilitate over the internet. Typing fatigue is real, as are time differences and bad internet. And, honestly, sometimes you just want a great big hug from your mama! So the time we were able to spend just talking, laughing, and getting to really truly catch up was amazing beyond words. You forget sometimes, when you get overcome by your own life, how important that is. Her trip was a reminder and it made me feel whole again.
Reconnecting like that was also important because it brought me back to the core of who I am. It connected the changes in me with the beauty of my past. It brought my lives together, sewing them up, and giving me confidence in ways I cannot fully explain. The last time my mom came, it felt validating, like the whole Peace Corps experience was real and I hadn't imagined it. This time, it was that who I have become is real. That was a very powerful thing to realize.
When asked what the best part of my recent travels around Southern Africa was, I have to say "my mom". But the rest of the adventures weren't half bad either...
Cheers to grand adventures with great people!