An open letter of gratitude

This post isn’t strictly about travel, but it’s my blog and I’ll write whatever I want. So here goes…

This letter is for anyone and everyone that made my visit to Miami fantastic, memorable, and full of love. I won’t name anybody by name, but if you’re reading this, you will know who you are.

Thanks for giving me a bed and clean sheets to sleep on every night. Thanks for stocking your fridge for me while you were away and leaving me hilarious AirBnB instructions to navigate your home. Thanks for lending me your key. Thanks for going out of your way to make sure the association at your townhouse would give me a long-term parking pass. Thanks for letting me cuddle with your pets while you were at work. Thanks for going out with me even when you were tired, sick, or not in the mood.

Thanks for shuffling your schedule around to pencil me in for dinner. Thanks for making breakfast before you left for work. Thanks for making sure I went to all my favorite Miami restaurants. Thanks for treating me to dinner. Thanks for giving me your extra concert ticket. Thanks for the cocktail on the house — it was fantastic. Thanks for all the alcohol actually — we drank a lot. Thanks for throwing a pool party and cooking Friendsgiving dinner even though you were sick.

Thanks for the bracelet — I’ll never take it off. Thanks for the laughs — some things will never change; and I will never not almost choke on a piece of sushi at Kampai because of your hilarity. Thanks for my fabulous haircut; I promise to come back for my next one. Thanks for getting drunk and doing writing sprints with me. Thanks for giving my next book a title. Thanks for all the feedback, advice, and writing ideas. And perhaps most important of all, thanks for giving me inspiration; and I have a soft spot for anyone that inspires me, so I’ll always root for you.

Thanks for your overwhelming support of me and my life choices. Thanks for thinking of me when you have freelance writing work that needs to be done. Thanks for the overwhelming positive feedback about my blog. I love hearing that you somehow connect with, are amused by, or otherwise enjoy the ridiculous things I post on here. Thanks for inviting me to spend a month writing at your place in Colorado; that was the most touching offer ever. Thanks for always making me want to write more.

Thanks for making me feel loved, appreciated, and welcome wherever I go. But more importantly, thanks for making me feel understood. Because as much as I know you hate to see me go, I know you’ll always cheer me on. Because you understand me. You know all my good and all my bad, and you accept me just the same. And there’s no greater gift you could give a fickle, adventurous, silly little human like me.

I may not always say it, but I love you all immensely. And being a few thousand miles away is never going to change that. I am fortunate and extremely grateful to have people like you in my life. Please know that even when I’m gone, I don’t take that for granted. I know that in your eyes, I am bold, instead of crazy; passionate, instead of unemployed; and missed instead of envied. And the most stunning cityscape in the world could never overshadow that kind of love. Even though I’ve done it kind of a lot, I hope you know it never gets any easier to leave you guys.

That being said, Honky and I must be going now. I’m sure I’ll see you soon (some of you sooner than others). You take care of yourselves, ya hear?

Next stop: Wiesbaden, Germany!

P.S. Thanks for the roll of toilet paper I spent the last two hours crying into while I wrote this.