(United States, ’12)
Just took a bite of a juicy peach, already moved out of the house and at my uncles house. A little emotional, like I have been for the past few days, but that’s to be expected. Felt a little hot, so I opened the windows in the living room and looked outside at the view. I remember, before I moved into the house and before these past few months in Armenia, I would look out into this view and feel emptiness. I’ll tell you why. When I was here 20 days earlier to stay with family, I hadn’t gotten to explore anything. Family was too busy, old friends were long gone, and my grandma wasn’t capable to take me anywhere. Looking out into the city meant nothing to me because I hadn’t made any memories that left an impression on me.
And now… now that I look at it, it takes my breath away. I am in awe of all that is happened in the past month, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been to and most importantly the things I have experienced. Those all mixed together made this trip not only perfect but more than I expected it to be (and I had some high expectations). To think about the fact that I may not be back for a few years and knowing that it won’t be with the same Birthright-ers and even AYF-ers makes me sad. And that is expected, you know, to be sad. But this is a new kind. I am already yearning to be with the people that have made this experience so great, knowing that we may never again be here together.
But past that, it was all about the journey here. Yes, it came to an end, but the journey is what makes it the greatest part. From the caves in Areni to cleaning the shores of Sevan, I will always remember our laughs, hard times, complaints (most of which were mine) and the conversations.
If there is one thing I have learned from this trip is let go of my perceptions before certain experiences. I’ve learned to pause the thoughts in my head even just for a second to enjoy what is in front of me. I have taken mental photos and ‘videos’ of my time here. I know that as time goes on, I will forget. But I will never forget how I feel now.
I am happy for the people I have met, the times we have had, but my heart breaks.
It feels like yesterday my mom was kissing me goodbye at the airport before I went through security check. I cannot wait for that same kiss when I am back home.
The only thing I can do now is hope. Hope that one day I can run into Satenig from Belarus or see all the Canadians at once. I hope that one day I can see wedding photos of Raffi and Tamar.
It is not guaranteed that I will see these people again, but the connections I have made are guaranteed. Connections all over the world, and I believe that has been the best aspect of my trip.
Heeng tzap, Hayastan.