I’m home. Whatever that means. They say home is where the heart is, and so how can it be that I’m back where I belong when so much of me is still wrapped up on the other side of the Atlantic?

I spent the last month traveling through Europe. Eight cities, three countries, and one perfect Mediterranean tan. I’ve been back for a week and am still having a hard time qualifying and crystallizing my trip. Pulling it from the golden, ethereal mist around my heart and mind and wrestling it onto a page, hardening it into black and white, feels like murder. So I’m in limbo. Trying to preserve this ephemeral ecosystem within while riding the C train.

Speaking has never brought me so much joy. I can talk to ANYONE! I’m joking with doormen, flirting with waiters, chatting with ladies in elevators… After three weeks of having to think heavily about everything that came out of my mouth (and often embarrassing myself anyway), the joy of easy conversation is not lost on me. I’m eating everything I couldn’t find—salads, vegan cookies, Mexican food… Getting a pedicure and using my phone any time I want.

But still.

I wander Eataly and buy a slab of fresh focaccia. I say grazie to l’uomo behind the counter. I hunt for the American equivalent of the Nivea hand cream I bought at a train station in Salerno. I can’t get over how the t-shirt that I hung to dry against the stones in Amalfi still smells. (Lemons, jasmine, and ocean…) I gaze longingly at maps, at pictures of places I’ve been and still want to go. There is a dull ache somewhere between my stomach and heart that will not go away.

What this limbo will produce—if anything—is still up in the air. Was this trip a signpost? A blinking indicator light of things to come? Or will the throbbing ease into a manageable pang as life goes on?

I don’t know. But stay with me. Either way, there’s lots to tell.



2 thoughts on “Returned

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