Embroidered Map of Moscow, Museum of Political History, St. Petersburg
Here's something I often think about when traveling: isn't it odd that we remember everything about a location, even when we've left?

I mean something like having a map on our hearts of a certain place.  For instance, I haven't lived in Provo for three years, but if you blindfolded me and dropped me off at BYU I would know exactly where to go and how to orient myself.

It feels even weirder when you return to a place you haven't been to in a while, only to find that it feels immediately familiar.  Even though you've left, you can pick up exactly where you were before.  I can picture our apartment in Nashville, where it's located related to everything else, and the best route to downtown or the mall.  I know the city and I recognize the landmarks. I remember where my favorite fabric shop is, where the closest grocery store is, and where we go for late night Taco Bell cravings (that is completely for Tim, not for me, FYI. Taco Bell = the devil's work).

I don't know why this strikes me as so surreal--I guess I like thinking about it in terms of our modern day transportation. We hurtle through the air at amazing speeds, without really seeing anything in between. We simply leave a certain space and enter a different one when we land. You could almost argue that nowhere else exists except for where you are right now, but you will always have that place etched in your brain.

That is how I feel about Moscow. Even though I know I won't be back for at least a year or more, I will always remember the way our metro stop looked, what the walk looks like from Gorky Park to the Church of Christ the Savior, or how long it takes to get to Tyopli Stan.  It will all be instantly familiar to me, because I have learned this place.

And isn't that kind of a beautiful thought? The idea that everywhere we have been, the streets we have walked, are embroidered on our hearts and embedded in our memories. We carry them with us everywhere, so even when we leave, we always have them with us.

It's the perfect thought to end this perfect sojourn.

(P.S. If you have joined along for the Russian adventures, stick around! I have really enjoyed blogging and plan to continue when I get back to Nashville. You can follow me on bloglovin', feedly, or Pinterest, to name a few ways.)