I’m sitting here in my apartment in Western New York, fully unpacked and moved in for the first time in over 5 months.
My previous semester-and-some-change of traveling through Costa Rica, Italy, Switzerland and France has come to an end after what seems like the blink of an eye.
When I touched down in the Rome airport, I hadn’t touched that piece of land in five years — since I was 16 years old. I was still spiraling under all of the glorious things to discover. The language, the food, the museums, the culture, the coffee, the extent to which my skinny jeans could stretch…
I worked with the program called ieiMedia, in Urbino, Italy, to create a multimedia article that was later published on the class’s annual website. I worked with local Italians and Italian interpreters to create my video, photo, and written story on the rise of Agriturismo in the Marche region of Italy.
I couldn’t believe that my 4 weeks in Italy flew by faster than I could pack the pounds on… Before I knew it, it was time to pack everything up to prepare for my week long adventure to Switzerland and France
When I arrived in Paris again, after not having been there for exactly one year… I could feel myself relax into my metro seat, as I recognized all the stops along this particular Metro chain. and was easily able to maneuver me to an exit.
I felt like I was home again, and was easily able to maneuver myself and my luggage to an exit in the metro station (a not exactly simple task).
All the old, familiar streets, buying bread in the bakeries, walking along the Seine, and sipping coffee and eating croque-monsieurs in cafés…
It felt like I had been there yesterday.
It felt reassuring.
Like no matter how much time passes, places will always be there, ready to welcome you home with nostalgic sweetness.
But what makes a place, a home?
What I came to realize over these past months of travel, that home truly is where your heart is. Whether you spent a series of months in a place and made your own nest, or you are meeting someone you love dearly in a foreign place that is their home.
It is the people and the places that we learn to love that makes a place a home. The connections we make, the laughs we share, the challenges we have overcome, and the memories that we make.
The true meaningful relationships that we make as we move from place to place, we leave a piece of our heart behind.
And so this location which used to be void of meaning becomes a home.