To The Foreign Country That Stole My Heart,
When my plane first arrived, I was dumbfounded by your beauty. There were thousands of green trees and tall mountains that we seemed to be flying straight through. I felt sure we would hit something as we flew closer and closer to the ground, but then an airstrip opened up, and I was amazed all over again. The airport, though one of your largest, was tiny in comparison to the one I flew out of. We were through customs and security in a matter of minutes, and as the lady stamped my passport, I felt a wave of pride rush over me. You had ignited my wanderlust upon arrival.
As we drove to the place we'd be staying, I kept my face pressed to the glass. My camera was constantly snapping blurry photos, hoping to capture some of your beauty to take home for myself. Later, I would realize that there wasn't a single photo that would do you justice. It wasn't until I put the technology away that I could finally let your unique experiences wash over me.
Throughout the rest of my trip, I was constantly baffled by the way your world was so different from the world I knew. I met your women and children who took us in and treated us like we were special guests, even though they barely had enough for themselves. I met your men, hardworking and strong, who tended to their fields to provide for their families.
I met one of your (many, many) orphanages, and quickly fell in love with your orphaned children. I was amazed by their spirits and love. I held the newborn babies who had recently been abandoned or given up in hopes of leading them to a better future. We played soccer with the young teenagers who had lived there their whole lives. It didn’t matter how little they had to call their own because all they truly wanted was love. I saw the way they worked to achieve in school, hoping, someday they'll be able to work to improve your living standards. I listened to their dreams of working with computers and being teachers.
When we were offered the opportunity to hike through your mountains, I was amazed at the natural wildlife you kept hidden within them. Even the most "natural" of our own state parks couldn't compare in the slightest to your perfect beauty. There wasn't always a direct path through to our destination. Instead, zip lines were strung above you, allowing me to see your landscapes without disturbing them. As I zipped overhead, my jaw dropped even further at your beauty. Green forests and grey mountains filled my sight, with sparkling blue waters below. Every moment with you was something new, even though you aren't the kind to let just anyone into your life.
And yet, through one of my greatest blessings, you let me in. I was given a backstage pass to a spectacular viewing of culture. You showed me your natural beauty through the local food and open mountains. You welcomed me with open arms and invited me to know you better than before.
Even today, I see how blessed I am, how honored I was, to find an amazing opportunity to get away from my everyday life. Traveling to you was an amazing experience, and I can only thank you for holding my heart so tenderly, so lovingly, giving me the desire and ability to come back to you again someday. I believe you must be in my future, and I promise to visit again soon.
A Wanderlust Lover