Pre-trip Time Capsule

Daming Cui - Brazil


August 31, 2019

All kinds of emotions swirl in my brain, changing by the minute: excitement, apprehension, nostalgia, euphoria, curiosity, determination, turmoil and peace mixed with a strange, hollow gust of emptiness. I imagine myself, digging through my blurred memories and trying to remember this jumble of wanderlust as I face the ocean waves while stars shimmer in the January heat in Florianópolis. That will be new. It’s thrilling, thinking that in less than 50 hours I could be shaking hands that invite me into a world completely unknown. Or I could still be stuck in the airport in Miami, watching the raindrops from Hurricane Dorian splatter against the glass panes as I sit in my makeshift sleeping bag. That prospect is somehow daunting and exciting at the same time.

It must have been a month since I’ve read about the lifestyle practice “hygge”, or the way I understand it, drawing joy from the simplest pleasures in life: walking barefoot on grass, soaking in the radiant colors from jacarandas backlit by the LA sunset, the touch of tree bark and the smell of morning coffee and the sound of crackling embers from a fireplace. Despite stores selling merchandise labeled “hygge”, I feel that my version needs not expensive socks or blankets. I’ve known that powerful, grand moments of happiness feeds into ambition, yet since I began taking moments as they are, I have a newfound appreciation for daily trickles of joy that keep my heart warm. Growing up, I’ve considered home more of a concept than a physical location, a mobile group of people that I love, who can be anywhere in the world, rather than a permanent address. It’s time to welcome new family into my home, as they welcome me into theirs, each moment and the next trickling with effervescence.

Daming Cui