All I remember from leaving my grandparents 16 years ago is a blur of tears and kisses. My brain has been effective at removing the painful memories. I wish I could remember what my grandpa smelled like, or what my grandma wore. The clearest images I remember are of coffee shops in the Miami airport, after I arrived. I saved the napkins and the cup holders and mailed them to my grandma. I would have never bought a coffee "to go" back home, so this was all new to me.
At first I wrote my grandma letters and called her through paid phone cards, when I had the money. Then we switched to Skype and WhatsApp. My grandpa has been amazing at keeping up with technology. My grandma always sits next to him and tells me how great it is to be able to see each other while being in different hemispheres. She asked me to write her letters telling her about my adventures. I wrote a couple. Life was not always easy as a young immigrant. Sometimes I went months without talking to them.
My traveling spirit grew despite temporary circumstances. I realized that I was drawn to exuberant nature and slow living paces. As I started reporting that I was "on a trip" with increased frequency, my grandma started asking me to keep a journal with details. Well, I have many forms of journaling. My watercolor pad, my photographs, reflections on social media, notes on my devices, an actual journal!
This blog is an attempt at compiling the best of it. And who knows, maybe my grandpa will find it and read it to my grandma.