Wow! I can't believe it has been almost 4 years since we've stepped foot in the Amazon Jungle. I'll never forget our final ride. We hopped on the back of Kendall's motorcycle and took off on a drive down the Kilometer Rd. I was just one day shy of being 28 weeks pregnant with our son Ezra and we were headed back to the States to prepare for his arrival.
I hoped on the back of the motorcycle, side saddle style, and we took off. I held Kendall's waist and we took off.
I tried to take in every scene, every face of every person we passed, all the smells. I didn't know when we would be back again or IF we would be back. Tears began to stream down my face and my heart broke. The Amazon felt like home. It is the place I began dreaming about raising a family. I could picture our kids running around our feet while I cooked dinner in a little wooden house in a village.
I really thought we'd be there the rest of our lives. That day, I grieved one dream dying while a new one was waiting for me. It was truly bittersweet in a way I've never known. Leaving meant becoming a mama but it also meant coming back to a land that didn't feel like home anymore. Even as I write this, the tears still well up in my eyes.
When we came back I felt lost and that feeling continued to stay for quite a while. In fact, it stayed around for years. We were expected to jump back into US life, adjust, and start preparing for a baby. Easier said than done... and that's when I began to numb out. I pushed the grief and emotions I had away so I could just focus on the joy that comes with having a new baby. I was excited to be a mom but I still missed home. The seasons changed on us quickly and I never gave myself time to process the things we had walked through. I felt like I was in a free fall trying to catch myself on something, anything. That's when life changed again and we found we were pregnant again and our son was only 8 months old. Que continued free fall because with that, we knew any remaining hope that we might be back anytime soon was gone.
It continued to take time but one thing led to another and Salt & Light Trading Co. was born. It is our desire to be salt & light to the world and we're doing it with fashion. We knew we wanted to provide clothes that impacted the person making your products and we knew whatever business we started would help support the Amazon in some way and that's why we give back 10% to a children's home in Brazil. It's a small thing with a big impact and that's why you are so important to our story. We can't do it without you. Salt & Light helps my heart stay connected to a place I once called home.
Have you ever visited a place that felt like home but then you had to leave?
If you have, you might be a Salt & Light girl.
You might be a S&L girl if you've ever traveled to a foreign land and left a piece of your heart there. Maybe you've never had the opportunity to go but you have a place on your heart.
Besides the Amazon, I have my heart scattered amongst many nations some I have visited, some I have not. I've had a desire to find a way to still be attached to the lands that I love and that remains a huge driving force behind S&L. I love that we can use artisans from the countries I have a connection with despite the fact that I have never gone.
With that said, people ask me all the time, "Do you miss living in the Amazon?" and my answer is always a resounding "YES, of course I do!" There will forever be an ache that never goes away. Moving back to the states was putting a dream to rest and I've learned there may always be grief but I don't have to live in it. Instead, I'm choosing to use it to propel the things I'm doing now to make an impact from right where I am.
Tell me about your favorite place you've visited and why or a place you'd love to visit one day.
Share with me your adventures. Did you ever feel that familiar heartache I described?
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