I'm home! In the 4 years that I've lived in South Florida, every time I would return by plane flying into Fort Lauderdale after visiting Mom, Dad, or other vacations, returning always felt temporary. But this time, as the evening sun was shining over the Everglades and city, I finally had the feeling that I was home.
Grand Trianon - Versailles, France.
It felt surreal all day yesterday as I left Nice, France. I couldn't believe I'd really been away as long as I had, and that I'd really experienced this whole trip. Even relaxing at home this morning as my cat cuddled in my lap, it felt like a mirage, like it could slip away at any moment. I never really knew what being homesick felt like growing up. To me, it wasn't the feeling of "I want to go home" but more like something was missing or very out of place, which happened in week 4, it was a feeling I couldn't kick. I wasn't excited about exploring anymore on my own. I tried to be and I did make the most of my time as best I could, though some days I needed down days, even if partially because I was to nervous to venture out (& watched 5 seasons of Will & Grace to comfort myself in the Chateau), and justly so after some of the experiences I had. I missed familiarity, stability, and slightly worried about my health and safety at moments wondering if I took on too much on my own. I worried about the hives being in a foreign country, and turned on the news finally this morning and discovered the E. Coli breakout in Europe that has killed 18 so far - hitting women especially, and wonder if I may have had a touch of something to worry about. My body was really in need of fruits and veggies, so I purchased salad ingredients a few days after the hives showed up, but noticed a few spiders in the lettuce. My gut told me to stay away from produce, especially since I wasn't sure if it was a pesticide or apricot allergy, but grew worried after still the 10th day and they did not clear up. All gone now after 2 weeks!
Pizza - my safe food in Europe, though adventurous!
Yes, fried egg and hot dogs, with potatoes.
No, I had no idea what I ordered.
Yes, it was good.
The day after I made a $30 call to Delta to change my flight, I had moments where I wondered if I'd made the right decision, but logically there were many reasons I came home earlier than planned. I was burning out, missing family life at home, not sharing the special moments with the someone, and the obvious that money would not last forever. There are a few things I would do differently next time, but I'm so glad to be able to say I've done the things like I did.
A doorway in Candes-Saint-Martin.
Before I left, I wasn't really sure where home was to me. The town I grew up in, where my parents no longer live? Where my parents live now? Where I live now, but was ready to move on? I felt as if I was on the lookout for a new place to call home, a place I'd obsessed about for a long time. I'm grateful to learn I'm quite happy exactly where I am... and relieved South Florida is home for now.
Have a good weekend!