I was fortunate last week to spend time in Singapore and Thailand, first celebrating Chinese New Year and then just relaxing near the beach. Coming back to Chengdu was a bit hard, remembering the chilly weather I left, but spring seems to be making an early appearance here and the city has brightened up quite nicely in the nearly two weeks I was gone.
As soon as I got back, in the few days before school started up again, I plotted my next trip–spring break on Jeju Island–and booked hotel rooms and made flight arrangements. After that, I fly to Germany to see my school next year. I feel a thrill just knowing travel is happening again soon.
Today, I had the opportunity to show a couple individuals around the school here in Chengdu. It’s always so much fun to pop into classrooms and the amazing things teachers are up to. And walking around seeing kiddos reading in groups or programming robots or making stain glass windows, I felt the early sting of nostalgia. I will definitely miss this place muchly next year, even though I think Germany will be a nice change of pace and place.
For some reason, the combination of loving the journey and knowing that I would miss the here and now had songs from Moana popping in my head all day today. Rather than just push them out, I thought I would share them. These songs have a way of almost perfectly emoting that feeling of wanderlust that settles in my soul.
First from the song “Where you are” we have two moments:
At 1:28, look at the cute, little, trapped-in-one-place Moana sadly sing:
…And no one leaves…
And then at 2:17, we have the wanderlust meat of the song:
You may hear a voice inside.
And if the voice starts to whisper,
to follow the farthest star,
Moana, that voice inside
is who you are.
Then we have one of my favorites, “I am Moana.”
Here, at 1:25, Moana sums up the wanderlusting, traveling life completely:
I’ve delivered us to where we are,
I have journeyed farther.
I am everything I’ve learned and more–
still it calls me.
And the call isn’t out there at all,
it’s inside me.
It’s like the tide,
always falling and rising.
I will carry you here in my heart;
you remind me
that come what may,
I know the way….
And finally, from “We know the way,” at 2:05:
We are explorers reading every sign.
We tell the stories of our elders in a never-ending chain.
So there I end. Lin Manuel’s lyrics can carry this post far better than anything else I could add.