I’m typing this post from the windowsill of my apartment in Barcelona. I’m here to experience living like a local, thanks to HouseTrip and that’s exactly what I feel like I’m actually doing, as much as one can in three days.
This is my second time in Barcelona and I recognize landmarks and street names because of my last visit. I know what to expect when I order a cafe con leche and the particular staccato of the Catalan accent is one that sounds like music to my ears now.
I spent all summer in New York City, only leaving for one very short weekend. I worked part time in a wine shop and had a shared apartment in Dumbo, then a place all to myself on a quiet street in Brooklyn. I got to know the guy at the bodega on the corner and he knew me well enough to call me by name. I had month long subway passes, coming and going on the C train like I owned it and could navigate it with my eyes closed. But something wasn’t quite right. While I love New York City with a passion that I expect will last till I die, after trying to make it a home for a year, this summer something fell short. There were moments of brilliance like a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge with a friend and an afternoon with a man in Central Park, filming Bites of the Big Apple and even a late night bike ride through Brooklyn that reminded me how much I love biking.
Yet I had to leave because as every day of summer dragged by the feeling that something was wrong became stronger and stronger until when I did finally step on a plane this week — I understood. I’m still in search of home. I have been all my life, never really feeling complete anywhere since my family took me from Vermont, where I was born — but it’s not home anymore now that there are no family or friends left there. Home is a nebulous concept I have never been fully able to pin down. This month I realized how much that bothers me. Swiftly behind that realization was the idea that I have the power to figure it out. I can choose to search for a home, or the meaning of the word, at least.
I’m trying to pin it down because as I get older it bothers me more than ever that other people understand this thing which I do not. How are other people so tied to this place or another when no one place bids me stay? … This journey that started with a Delta airlines flight Monday will take me to Spain, Indonesia, Italy, the UK and possibly a few other places before I return to the United States in November.
Will New York feel like home then? Will I find it in another country? Or with a person? With friends as I travel? I don’t know. But I go in search of the answers…
Can you relate at all? I’d love it if you could share your story with me.
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