Everyone in Uganda knows my name. As I walk up and down the streets I hear it being called from little kids, women with children on their laps preparing food for the day or men on motorcycles working hard to make a living. Muzungu. Okay, as they are yelling it out to me, they are really meaning “White Person”…and this is every other white persons name here actually. It is meant in a friendly manner and is actually quite sweet to hear as it is people saying hello to you and giving you a great big welcome.
Muzungu also means “someone who roams around aimlessly”. A Wanderer.
Since I was 18 years old, I have moved every single year of my life. If it wasn’t to a different state, it was to a different part of Los Angeles since 2008. I suppose I have been moving to find that place where I belong…but I am not sure if I will ever find it.
When I think of the place in my heart that I call home, I envision God. I see Him and know that no matter where I go, He is there with me. He is guiding me and leading me. I have felt somewhat guilty about my wanderlust heart over the last few years. When I was married, all I wanted was that feeling of settlement. I dreamt of that house with the white picket fence where every room served it’s different purpose. I longed for that stability. When my life took a sudden change of course in 2010, that all disappeared. The last thing I could grasp is sitting in one place. My eyes suddenly opened up to the big world out there full of so much opportunity.
As I sit here in a cafe in Uganda, Africa I am so utterly happy and content. There is no where I would rather be. If someone showed me a map right now and asked the one place I would travel to today if possible, I think I would say “Jinja”. For the first time in my life, I am so happy being where I am. Now do I think I could live here for the rest of my life? No..but it is nice to know that a huge part of my heart will be here forever and for the time being..this is where I am meant to be.
I can’t help but think about where my journey will take me when this adventure is over. All I know is that my plane ticket is taking me to Los Angeles. I am so excited to see my friends and my dog Rilo, but other than that…I already feel lost about being there. The best way I can explain this is that I feel like I will be taking a step backwards.
The situation that I am most comfortable with for spending my time in the states is to acquire a camper van and travel around the country living a simple life full of friends, new environments and people. When I think about sitting in one place and possibly getting a new apartment and moving in and settling, it just doesn’t feel right in my heart. I need to keep moving forward.
When I think about 2014…I see myself living abroad…somewhere in Europe. A continent that is just a hop, skip and jump away from amazing countries full of so much history. Filled with culture and new experiences. It has been the most amazing experience being here in Uganda and making so many friends from around the world. I want to go visit them in their homelands and experience what life is like for them. I want to just dive deep into this beautiful world that the Lord has created.
I have no idea why I feel like sitting still or going back and settling in LA is taking a step backwards. Maybe because it served it’s purpose in time but that time in my life has now come to an end. A part of me worries that I am running away from something. But more than anything I feel the confidence to chase after my wanderlust dreams because God is with me wherever I go. He created this amazing world and all He wants to do is wander with me in it.
This post is mostly me spitting out the thoughts going through my head right now but it’s also me embracing this wanderlust heart. This heart that just wants to roam aimlessly through out this beautiful world experiencing it with others. It was beautifully designed by the One that loves me the most and I can’t get frustrated or second guess it. I just have to keep following Him wherever He decides to guide me. A continual move forward can be scary because it means always stepping into the unknown but for some reason, going back to the familiar scares me even more. Through it all, I know I will never be alone because He is with me.
“My roots have grown but I don’t know where they are”- The Head and The Heart