Falling in love with a nomad heart, means being prepared for the moment she says, “My soul grows one hundred feet when I go…I feel alive when I go.” When she says that—and I know it is true, have known it from the first time she showed me her photographs of ancient cities, lost on plains in countries with histories that stretch back thousands of years, countries torn by wars and still carrying their past, when she showed me and her eyes lit up under the night sky—one part of me understands. Another part, feels jealous—but jealous of what? Of the world? How can that be, when the world calls to me just as strongly?

Of course, I have not traveled where she has. My nomad heart travels to places that give me pause, and I have known, since we began falling in love with each other, that she would travel to such places. Once in her life, years before we met, she was a soldier, and now, she works in countries where our country is still at war, helping fund projects that have a chance at changing lives. How can I not love that devotion?

The world cries out for those who see what is needed and then who attempt to do what is needed. My nomad has seen a world that cries out with need—need for help, need for aid, and need, most dire need, for simple recognition. Instead, what is offered, so often, is misperception, some well meaning observation, or self-preserving admonishment. And yet there are those who see more, who find a connection. People whose hearts carry that nomad spirit.

I have traveled less, and this surprises those who know me, because they expect a history to match my vision. I have seen the world beyond the boundaries of my limited travels through other people’s eyes. I have borrowed their senses as they traveled. I feel the limitations of their visions, not because they are wrong, or even short-sighted, but because I know how I see and feel. I know my limitations, but also my strengths. I can see without thinking how someone or something is like me.

My own nomad heart has looked more within, and while I know this will not replace travel, what is the point of travel if one only carries a mirror, or travels to find the origins of me, or uncover the failed roads that lead to this pinnacle of man? These days I see “Not all who wander are lost” bumper stickers and spare tire covers on the backs of SUVs. Why not get lost? Why not find a path that leads to discovery not of oneself (Now I have had my vision!), but to some other self, someone whose story demands to be told, neither because it is great, nor because it is tragic, but simply because it is. Show me something, someone, I do not know—not to uncover me, but to reveal some place, some you who waits to be known.

And so I am prepared, poorly, for the day when I take my nomad heart to the TSA line, and turn away to head back to my world, while she steps into line and toward a place where she will travel under the eyes of guards, and where she will see a world I can, for the moment, only dream about. “My soul grows,” she says, and when she says this, my heart grows. The world calls.