Leaving Home and Going Home

So, this is it. The moment I’ve been waiting for for the past 3.5 months. Tomorrow I begin my journey to Spain. It’s going to be a long road getting there, but it will all be worth it once I get back to the land of sunshine and cobblestone streets. Where  “yell-oh” means ice, and not the color of the sun, where “Yo” is not a gangster greeting, but rather a way of referring to oneself, where “ee” means the letter ‘I’, where “yolo” is an acceptable and necessary part of conversation, where margarita is a girls name or a flower (daisy) and not a sugary “mexican” tequila beverage, where a cafe is my beverage and not the place where I’m drinking it, where “kay” is a question not an affirmation, where “finish” is an indication of completion and not an indication of a Scandinavian person’s nationality, where “too/two” is a pronoun and not a quantity, and where “oy vey” means “today, she sees.” Back to my quaint little home perched on a hill. Where “last call” doesn’t exist in bars, where 1 euro coffees and beers are the norm, and where taking an early afternoon nap before heading back to work is totally acceptable.

There are things that I’ll miss about home, namely the people. The distance undoubtedly makes me feel disconnected, and who really enjoys that feeling? Though most of my high school friends have moved away from our hometown and I have seen most of them only once or twice this summer, and though my college friends live scattered around the country, at least while I’m in the US there is a connection. I can send a random text, or share a picture when something reminds me of a memory I have with someone. But it’s a lot harder to stay so well connected once I’m gone. And people’s lives change, and daily dramas and triumphs occur, and most of the time I don’t hear about it. I can’t get those random texts that let you know that even though there are miles between you, your friends are still thinking of you. So I settle for the Facebook messages and the Skype session that are few and far between. Because as much as I’d love to be in consistent contact with my friends at home, the feasibility just isn’t there. So friends out there, know that I really do think of you often, and will try to reach out as much as possible, and hopefully you will too. Download Whatsapp if you know whats good for you and lets pretend that I’m still in the good ol’ USA.

A reminder on my phone from my Google calendar just popped up… it says “PEACING OUTT- Tomorrow”  I’m glad the Chelsea from 4 months ago thought that it was necessary to put an event in her calendar as a reminder. As if I haven’t been counting down the days until my return to Spain for months… So I’ll leave you with this beautifully written excerpt from an article written by another Chelsea on a website called Thoughtcatalog.com. I couldn’t put it any better than this!

“So you look at your life, and the two countries that hold it, and realize that you are now two distinct people. As much as your countries represent and fulfill different parts of you and what you enjoy about life, as much as you have formed unbreakable bonds with people you love in both places, as much as you feel truly at home in either one, so you are divided in two. For the rest of your life, or at least it feels this way, you will spend your time in one naggingly longing for the other, and waiting until you can get back for at least a few weeks and dive back into the person you were back there. It takes so much to carve out a new life for yourself somewhere new, and it can’t die simply because you’ve moved over a few time zones. The people that took you into their country and became your new family, they aren’t going to mean any less to you when you’re far away.
 
When you live abroad, you realize that, no matter where you are, you will always be an ex-pat. There will always be a part of you that is far away from its home and is lying dormant until it can breathe and live in full color back in the country where it belongs. To live in a new place is a beautiful, thrilling thing, and it can show you that you can be whoever you want — on your own terms. It can give you the gift of freedom, of new beginnings, of curiosity and excitement. But to start over, to get on that plane, doesn’t come without a price. You cannot be in two places at once, and from now on, you will always lay awake on certain nights and think of all the things you’re missing out on back home.”
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