When Destinations Become Human and You Feel Like You Lost a Friend

I cried for two days when Florida was besieged by hurricane Irma. That’s because it has almost become a person to me. That can happen with destinations sometimes, especially if you were born with wanderlust. I have a particular attachment to the beautiful Tampa Bay area, Sarasota, and Bradenton. The entire state of Florida is a second home to me and even though I don’t spend an excessive amount of time there anymore, it is still my home away from home.


I was first awestruck by its beauty when I was 18, and it has been one long love affair ever since. Beautiful blue water, balmy air, the rustle of palm trees, and its outstanding scenery are things that simply have to touch a person, unless he or she is untouchable.

Last year we visited a Christian resort that we hadn’t been to in about 28 years and walking the same trails with my husband that we walked together when I was just a girl of 19 was a surreal moment. We were both lost in our memories. How the years rush on!

Vivid memories also came back to me of trips we took to Miami, one as recently as 2015, and now I must sit here knowing that many of these areas have been reduced to nothing. So much ruin and destruction. When you love places almost as much as people, and I’m afraid I’m guilty of that, you feel the hurt as if you’ve lost a friend when disasters like this take place.


When Irma changed course and I found out she was headed directly to my beloved Tampa Bay, all I could think of was our vacation last year when we sat outside enjoying balmy air in the middle of December, watching all the yachts and party boats in the bay, lit up like Christmas trees, as if we were in a magical storybook. Yes, it may sound silly. That’s what places do to me, particularly places I love.


Wanderlust is something that you are either born with or not. However, it’s not curable and that’s okay, as I do not want to be cured. But everything comes with a price, and being attached to places almost as if they are people makes the pain that much worse when mother nature decides to point her finger and say “you’re next.”

Please pray for all the victims of Irma, and for my beloved Florida to rise from the ashes and rebuild itself better than ever. Without places like that to go, my identity almost disappears–and that kind of scares me.

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