Yesterday, I traveled for 12 hours. And I think I know why some of us travel. Why we find ways to escape and explore this magnificent, unknown world. We travel to get far away and to get closer. We move because we have to. We climb mountains and ride buses and fly planes and look out the windows to see more. Mountains bring inspiration, clouds give hope, and seeing different sights makes you feel that there are bigger things.
When the plane is landing, you’ll gaze to the window to see Chicago shining quietly fierce in the night. This will be bittersweet moment, I promise you. This will be the end all — because you’ll only have those moments the turbulence explodes and settles again while all the buildings reflecting on Lake Michigan are shining so terribly bright – you’ll only have those moments to feel that somehow the lights and the sky and the stars are connecting with you. And if there was ever such a thing as time travel, that time when you’re soaring between the sky and the earth is when you’ll get lost…
The truth is, I didn’t ever want the plane to land. I would have frozen time and replaced the stranger beside me with you. I would have taken the clock above your fireplace off the wall and rewound it to February 20th three years ago at the Rainforest Café, and I would have started writing our story for you then. I would have written it so that the empty seat beside me was taken by you. I would have written it so that the tears I shyly wiped away were not caused by the absence of you, but so my tears held your reflection and your hand held mine. And tears did fall from my face, they did, because there was something else about traveling and astonishing cities like Chicago at midnight that reminded me of how you and I saw bigger things together. I would finally write our story for you, and this letter would be entirely different; because we would both still be so vulnerably in love, living the adventure you had permanently desired for us.
But the plane landed.
And the travelers will keep traveling.