To Far Away Places and Back Again


According to my Pinterest board, I’m becoming a homebody. Or maybe I’m just home-hungry.

We’ve spent 20 of the past 40 days traveling—some for pleasure, lots for work, and we’ll spend 15 days of the next month and half doing the same. Frankly, I’m mad at travel-marketers who make the travel-life look like paradise because unless you’re doing travel with first-class perks, it’s not paradise.

I had a truth-moment about this with a colleague friend of mine last week:

“Karen,” I said, hesitating a little, “I actually don’t like flying very much.”

She turned to me and emphatically stated, “ME EITHER!”

I wanted to respond with But half of your job is traveling! You mean, you don’t like having 2:00 a.m. departure times either? You don’t like sitting in scrunched seats thousands of feet above solid ground? You don’t like long layovers in fluorescent-lit lounges or car rides on pot-holed roads to and from airports? But all I could get out in reply was a high pitched, “Really??”

I let what she said sit with me for a while until it reminded me of just how far our passions will take us.

This colleague friend of mine is twice my age. She has plenty of good reasons to stay on the ground far away from sleepless nights and long meetings and weekendless months caused by project deadlines that give people around her aid to keep living.

But she chooses to keep flying. She chooses to bear with the stuff she hates to get the results she lives for: prosperity for all people.

Of course “bearing” traveling discomforts isn’t always as bad as the glass half empty things I’ve been hereto complaining about; traveling is also this inexplicably beautiful process of becoming more complete. It’s like we carry this home-hunger with us, this need for settling into a place in which we know and are known, and it’s not until we’re in the embrace of a faraway land and its faraway people that we find pieces of our home we didn’t even know were missing.

The Phactivist and I have found ourselves in this place a lot lately—away from home yet desiring it. We’ve also found ourselves with those who’ve helped us expand our sense of home by embracing us in their homes. The past two weeks that embracing happened with new friends and old ones in Ukraine:


















The last few pictures we took in the middle of an egg exhibit in downtown Kiev. The sun was just right and the shells so abundant that it felt like we were in the middle of an egg-waltz. The first time I came across eggs like these were around our family Christmas tree when I was about ten. My dad had made a trip to Ukraine and brought back these intricate egg ornaments for us to dangle on our tree. Mine was mustard and cream and small enough to hold in my hand. These were every shade you could imagine and big enough to wrap my arms around.

But I don’t think it was just the eggs’ size and colors I loved. I loved being in their midst because being with them tapped into the child-wonder part of me that says life can never lose its sparkle. And that’s what happened in this exhibit. Life became enchanting again all because of big eggs dancing in a square.




7 Comment

  1. Rosie says: Reply

    I love seeing glimpses of your life and heart Razan! All I have to say this morning (other than I Love you and Mr. TP!) is “keep writing!!!” And taking pictures as well!

  2. Sarah N. says: Reply

    Ukraine looks beautiful! I LOVE your pictures of art-eggs and of that adorable blue house!

  3. Mary says: Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I adore this! Although not looking forward to the flights… I can. not. wait. to visit this summer! I desperately need the togetherness time with you two!

    1. Liz says: Reply

      Umm, I can’t wait!!! The flights are SO worth it. 😉 Love you!

  4. Anonymous says: Reply

    Your post and pictures bring back so many memories. Among them is the time that you were with us on our trip to Ukraine. Where oh where does the time go?

  5. clarissa says: Reply

    We are made for Home. But until then, we carry home around with us wherever we are needed- like turtles.

    1. Liz says: Reply

      It is kind of like that, isn’t it?

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