Home Is Where The ? Is…

I’ve been back in the States for exactly one week now and while it does feel good to be home, it has taken some getting used to as well.  First of all, I have been thinking a lot about the word “home.”  Are you only allowed 1 home?  Because I feel like I have had at least 4 and am well on my way to number 5.  I honestly felt like I left my “home” in Malaga to come back…”home.”   Confusing.  What’s in a home anyway?

 

The most natural feeling thing for me to do right now is analyze EVERYTHING.  I keep catching myself comparing the differences between my American home and my European home.  And let me tell you, there are tons.

 

 

Like bathrooms, for example.  I am constantly fighting the urge to turn the water off while I shampoo/condition/shave in the shower.  It seriously feels foreign to me to have the water pouring over my head for the duration of my shower.  What a waste :/  Then there are public bathrooms.  I think I actually had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I found not one, but TWO rolls of toilet paper in the women’s bathroom in a dive bar in the heart of Brooklyn.  TWO?  At a dive bar?  And the bathroom was CLEAN?  What?!  Isn’t it weird that this is something I am actually having to get used to?

I also can’t get over the friendliness factor.  Complete strangers are saying “excuse me” and “hello” in the supermarket…they are even, get this….SMILING.  I can’t say this is something that makes me uncomfortable though.  Quite the opposite actually.  I missed how friendly people are (for the most part) to each other here.  It’s so refreshing and puts me in a better mood for no reason at all.  I don’t think I will miss the cold shoulders and uninviting stares I became so accustomed to in my other “home.”

And then there’s the whole driving thing.  Ugh, I hate driving.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to get in my car EVERY TIME I wanted to go somewhere but it’s a sad fact of living in suburbia.  It makes me itch.  I miss walking and public transport.

It’s great to be back though.  I have a lot of exciting things ahead of me and I can’t wait to see where my life takes me next.  I’ll give you a hint- it includes moving to a new city, finding job and of course, travel. 🙂

Top 5 Travel Moments

Ten months + twelve countries later and I am officially two days away from being back in the USA.  The best part is that I’m not actually done traveling quite yet.  I decided to make a pit stop in NYC on my way home since I’ve never been there.  Apparently I can’t call myself American until I’ve seen the Big Apple….at least according to the look on almost every Spaniard’s face when I tell them I’ve never been to New York.  I’ll be meeting up with one of my best friends from college and my best friend from high school there and I honestly can’t think of a more perfect way to end this experience.  It will be the best welcome back present ever, I’m pretty sure!

Just for kicks, I’ve been thinking of my favorite memories from this year and decided to make a list of my top 5 moments from the past 10 months.  I am sorry to see this chapter of my life come to an end…it was an incredible one, that’s for sure.

Cinco.

Waking up at 7am to spend the entire morning before our flight out from Budapest in an outdoor Hungarian bath house.

Cuatro.

Drinking a bottle of champagne under the Eiffel Tower on a warm summer’s night.  I can’t tell if I like that idea or the fact that someone walked up to me and sold me the bottle right then and there better.  Ahh, I’m going to miss Europe.

Tres.

Watching the beautiful sun sink below the horizon backed by the beat of bongo drums at Playa Benirras in Ibiza.  Then, just as the sun fell completely below, having the entire beach erupt into claps, whistles and cheers.

Dos.

Taking camels into the Sahara Desert and camping under the zillions of stars with a local Berber tribe, then waking up in the morning and climbing the dunes to watch the sun rise.

Uno.

Making new friends and lifelong travel partners.