January 20, 2012

"Home Is Wherever I'm With You" (Toledo)

I know it's the sweet cliche that all people who are truly in love are supposed to live by, but I have to be honest, I've been "homesick" plenty of times during the past year and a half of being married. I have loved my husband throughout all of those times, but I have also felt like a bit of an outsider.  

I haven't often felt like I belonged in the big and strange city of Rochester, but upon returning to the hometown where Josh and I both grew up, I realize while sitting on the bed of a guest bedroom, that I don't belong there either.   

Where is my home?


Oddly enough, here in Europe, thousands of miles from the familiarity I have spent almost twenty years of my life enjoying, I feel happier than I ever felt "at home" in Sayre, PA. I'm happy because I am home, and I'm home because I'm with Josh.

My new front door?

As excited as I was to visit the beautiful, historic city of Toledo this weekend, I had a hard time convincing myself that rushing off to spend three nights in a strange bed when I had just gotten used to my bed in Avila would be worthwhile. I just wanted to relax and unwind somewhere where I didn't feel like a stranger--a foreigner. 

But when Josh and I finished fumbling with the ancient lock of our tiny hostal bedroom and collapsed into our separate beds in a suburb of Toledo (after being lost for half an hour), I felt strangely un-foreign. As I looked at Josh on his bowing springboard mattress (and ultimately ended up climbing into the tiny bed with him) I felt more relaxation, more acceptance, and more belonging than I have in my entire life.

Mmmm, European breakfast
I used to think that travel was only fun because you could always go home and rest when the excitement was over. Vacations away from home were always more stressful for me than they were restful. Tomorrow Josh and I are going to spend another day in a city that is not our own, return to a room that is not our own, and after that ride a train back to an apartment that is not our own. 

The next three+ months will be filled with trains, planes, hostals, hotels, and unfamiliar streets, sidewalks, and cities. 

And I couldn't be happier. 

The world is our home now.

Title from "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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