Wanderlust Goose Chase

I close the door behind me and immediately I get that feeling again. I go back in the room and I check the drawers, my pockets, my purse, the bathroom, my suitcase, I have everything with me…including that pesky feeling.

I’ve left the house without my keys, I’ve left my bathing suit at the hotel, I’ve left numerous books and even my laptop in my locker at school, I’ve forgotten things before but I’ve also always retrieved them.

Some might call “that feeling” anxiety, I don’t. I think it’s normal. It drives me crazy, but I still think it’s normal.

Each time I leave a place—whether it’s the student union, a hotel on family vacation, a national park, etc.—I always feel as if I have left something behind. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I boarded the plane “home” from Israel.

What was it I was forgetting? I couldn’t figure it out: I had my water bottles, I had all the souvenirs I’d acquired, I had my sunglasses, I think I even brought home some Israeli candy. It seemed like I had everything, but I boarded the plane with tears in my eyes still feeling like I left something behind.

The truth is, I leave the same thing in every place I visit. It isn’t intentional, it just happens. So across 3 continents, 6 countries, 31 states, and what feels like infinite cities and towns, are pieces of my heart. That’s right: on top of Masada (even maybe along the Snake Path), in the hills of the Golan Heights, in the starry expanse of the Negev sky, and wrapped in the note I placed with my own hands in the Kotel are pieces of my heart.

I like to think that one day, all these pieces heart will lead me on a treasure hunt (or a wild goose chase) back around the world, around the two countries I love most, to retrieve each one and complete myself again. Until that happens, I think I’ll expand my treasure hunt and scatter some more pieces.

If home is truly where the heart is, I’m a very scattered individual.

About the Author
Hannah is a student at Indiana University studying Elementary Education and Jewish Studies.