It still sits on my dresser, this little hexagonal jewelry box a boy I dated in college brought me back from Israel. He went on Birthright the summer after he graduated and at the time, I thought being separated for three weeks was devastating. I was two years younger and had never even been out of the state for more than a week at a time.
When he came home around the fourth of July, he surprised me with a gift — this tiny antique box smaller than my palm. It was made of the most lovely delicate gold and had these bright coral gems scattered along the lid. I was completely enamored and showed it off to everyone I knew.
As it goes, he and I didn’t last long, but I still can’t make myself throw out the box. Instead, I see in it a reflection of the adventurous spirit he inspired in me and a love of travel that has since fueled my life. These days I’m the one always coming and going — traveling here, living a few months there, bringing loved ones things from faraway places. I’m grateful for everything the world has exposed me to, including him.