My postcard mouth always wishes you were here

Recently someone told me that they dedicated their entire Friday night to Zahra Travels because of my biggest fan, who happens to be my beautiful sister, lamely shares everything I publish, ever.

Mind you, this ‘someone’ and I are not even mutuals on Facebook but I was so honored by the words she chose to describe me with. Many people congratulate me on this blog but I’m not doing anything new. Everything I write is what I once upon a time whispered to journals I started as a way to practice learning this new language and cope with this new life I was a guest in. If you’ve passed grade 6, you can see multiple grammar faux-pas in my work. But that’s just it, this is not meant to be perfect. Zahra Travels is not to one day land me a great job, it’s to act as a method of ventilation when my lungs can no longer exhale stress running lap after lap.

As a person who always interviews people, somehow the tables turn when I’m confronted by my audience and they ask me questions. I often rudely leave them hungry for answers I never cooked. More than recognition within my peers, far off relatives I blocked on social networks in high school are the ones that continue to present me with love I cannot carry on my undeserving chest.

My mom tells me “this isn’t a hotel that you just come to get your laundry, raid the fridge, and sleep in” because I spend fewer hours at home than I do on my TTC commutes some days. And even when I am home, my thoughts are glued to screens that illustrate places and countries I have not yet walked upon. I got so caught up in traveling, I started treating my origin as a visitor. When does home even become a tourist destination? When you start living on your own or when you call your own country “back home” with no actual intention of going back? Little did I know collecting innocent pocket souvenirs here would soon transform into full checked-in baggage.

I became a cousin, a sister in law, and now an aunt to a beautiful baby girl in the span of eleven years I’ve spent as an outsider to my origin. I’m going to Pakistan in May.

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