I AM NOT A NOMAD.

There is a place that I will always call home. It’s where my family lives and where the friendships I have are ones that have survived such insurmountable things as adolescence, separation, depression, and my Phantom of the Opera phase. The sheer amount of life we have experienced both together and apart is impossible to re-create. Still, I leave those people year after year after year to come to Spain. Sometimes I know why I do this. Other times, especially in the days and weeks after I return, I don’t.

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You will likely feel a lot of things when you move and you will feel these things in part because you are too romantic for reality and because you are impatient, but mostly because that’s how humans react to change (unless you’re one of those cool nomads who just needs a couple of succulents to feel at home, I guess).

First, you might feel disappointed. I envisioned myself returning to my Spanish apartment and waltzing around in slippers and lingerie with a martini in hand, transitioning easily back into a glamorous life that I’ve never actually had. Let the record show that the only martini I’ve ever consumed is the Italian-brand vermouth. Let the record also show that my evenings have never looked like (I imagine) Rihanna’s do. Here’s what really happened: As I scrubbed my kitchen counters in a t-shirt and dusty jeans two sizes too big for me, my neighbor came to the window and asked if I was the cleaning lady and, if so, what was my rate? I, broker than I’ve been in many years, thought about saying yes.

Another thing you may also feel is loneliness. In spite of how you feel about this sort of self-help, you’ll watch a Ted Talk called “The Simple Cure for Loneliness.”  Baya Voce, the speaker, will say that the secret is to create rituals like putting on leggings and poppin’ open a bottle of rosé with your best friends! or taking a trip to Paris with your girlies! This video, although you’re sure that Baya is a lovely person, will nevertheless make you feel like eating all of your leggings and then your own hands.

You will probably feel both hopeful and hopeless, sometimes in the span of five minutes. Maybe you should chill the eff out, read this article, binge watch Cardi B’s Instagram rants, and then go on a run or pretend your empty living room is actually just a home dance studio.

En fin, I don’t always know why I do what I do, but I keep doing it. When I’m not busy questioning all of my life decisions, I try to laugh.

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2 comments

  1. Yep yep yep I feel this. Traveling the distance between homes, especially when it’s a distant distance, brings up a lot of questions about life choices, and brings the sacrifices and disadvantages into sharp relief, and then the comparisons that are so detrimental, as Popova mentions in the article you linked to. It helps me to remind myself that no matter where I take up residence, there’d be sacrifices and disadvantages. So if being broke and scrubbing the counters in Spain still sounds better than being broke and scrubbing the counters in your Plan B location, then I think you’ve made it, I think that’s called a resounding success. And now you know that if you wanna pick up and be broke and scrub counters somewhere else, you’ve got the gumption and the competence to do it, and that’s fantastic. And fingers crossed things get exponentially better over time, as they’re wont to do. Seriously, props to you for doing Life Somewhere Else. It’s an admirable choice, Treat yoself to a martini! #shakennotstirred

  2. You’re so right. It’s so easy to forget that there are disadvantages to every place. I know if I decided to move home, I’d be having a similar crisis…. These transition phases are always intense. We do always get through them, though, and I’m sure we learn a few things along the way 🙂

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