I have been traveling in parts of the world where I cannot even say “how do you say ….” I barely have the basics of hello and goodbye down. And yet as I move through the daily activities of life, shopping at a market, sitting on the coastline in a crowd of people, standing on line to shower or wait for the bathroom. the scenes I witness between parents and children, lovers – old and young are more similar than they are different.

When I first arrived, I wondered what life would feel like, at home here. But the longer I stay the more I realize that it probably feels just the same as my own. People doing the work of living in the midst of relationships that define the hours that all the work takes. There is more neighborly chatting in these narrow streets than where I live, but neighbors are neighbors I suspect anywhere.

It feels like a gift to have this recognition again, in a way that sinks into my daily activities- we are all on a similar path herein this world so large, we all want mostly the same things out of our life, no matter what the language or food preferences. While I am taken by the narrow alleys of the medieval cities and the vistas of the coastlines, what is most memorable here is the relationships that I have the privilege to witness. And even more, the ones that I have been given to strengthen and support on this life journey. Please don’t think this is a continuous vacation. Traveling en famille has always been a challenge. But truly, in a world so large, it is the smallest of encounters that count.