Searching for “Home”

I’ve been mentioning a lot lately about this desire that I’ve been feeling to put down roots and start a home. Though travel is, and will continue to be, one of my life’s greatest passions, I am beginning to look forward to a day where I can buy and own things that I love to decorate my apartment, or to be able to establish myself in one community, one place, for a longer period of time.

But what does this mean, starting a home? What does it mean to feel at home?

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Re-Integration Frustration

I find myself so conflicted about the return home. Granted, I’m only going to be home for two months before heading back to Spain, but I think that’s what contributes even more to the torn feelings I’m experiencing.

I mean really, Spain has been my home for only the past year, whereas the city that I call home has been my home for 26 years. So…I’m going home, but really only for vacation, before heading back to my new home.

Thing is, is my new home really my new home? I can’t help but feel like in some ways it was just a romantic year abroad. When I thought about what my year would be like, I didn’t think about laying down roots, I just wanted to travel, gain some experience, and see what it was like. And as hard as it was to be rootless for a year, and as much as I was craving going back to my roots in NY, ironically now that it’s happening, I’m realizing that I was beginning to lay new roots in Spain and that maybe, I’m leaving home behind. I’m leaving home to go home. Does that make sense? It sure as hell doesn’t to me.

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Yearning for the Past During Travels

Was there every a time where, even though things are going incredibly in the present moment, and the future that lies ahead of you looks so promising, you sometimes end up looking back and missing the past you’ve left behind?

I wonder why that is. Why am I sometimes hit with a sensation of wanting to go back to the way things were, though things are so much better now? Why do we pine for things that weren’t necessarily the best for us?

I am filled with such a deep sense of appreciation for where I am presently. Are there regrets? Yes. Are there things I should have done but didn’t do? Yes. But there’s no changing that now. After all, life is a learning process, and that means making many mistakes before getting it right.

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My First Solo Adventure

You would think given how much I’ve traveled I would have already traveled on my own. While technically all of my big trips have been done by me alone, I also had support in one form or another, such as through a program or company.

When I originally came to Spain, it was with the intent of exploring Madrid on my own for a weekend before heading to Linares, where I didn’t know anyone either, but had plans to meet with future and then present auxiliares. So Madrid was to be my first trip completely by myself. That meant exploring museums, parks, monuments, and yes, eating in restaurants alone for two and a half days. I remember the liberation I felt walking up and down the Prado by myself, moving on my own speed without worrying about losing anyone in the crowds. However, a few hours later, I caved and had somehow managed to get in contact with other auxiliares in Madrid and spend the rest of the weekend with them.

Obviously I have no regrets, because it’s always great to meet people, especially when you travel, because everyone has such interesting stories to share. But I wanted to really get that experience of knowing absolutely no one and going through a more natural process of meeting people (i.e. at a bar or in a museum as opposed to the communal thread of a program that everyone is participating in).

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When Traveling is Not So Romantic Anymore

When you hear the word travel or learn that someone is moving to another far off country that seems so different from their native one, you almost cannot help but sigh and these romantic images of sunsets over beautiful landscapes fill your imagination. At least, that what happens for me.

And so when I moved to Spain I had all of these romantic notions of sitting in lovely, cozy little cafes playing flamenco music in the background, sipping coffee as I typed away furiously on my laptop in between conversations with locals where Spanish flowed off of my tongue easily. I checked out of my then present setting of Brooklyn and my mind was clouded with these fresh images, scents, and sounds that were to soon envelop me.

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The Bravest Voyagers

When I walked into the Museo de Los Indios in Seville last weekend, I had no idea what to expect. I had just heard from a fellow traveler and blogger that it was beautiful.  She was right, not only was it beautiful, the exhibit on display was mind blowing.

The exhibit, Pacifico, followed the voyages and discoveries of the new world by some of the first travelers. It included ancient maps and pieces of art that were simply stunning, and old books and journals, centuries old treatises between countries claiming rights to the newly discovered lands.

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