Hopping from place to place is an aspect of my life that’s quite frequent and something I have adjusted to, having lived in Spain the last four years of my life. However, being a child of Wisconsin, all of my family resides around the Midwest. That makes coming home for the holidays not so easy when it comes to the drastic change in temperature, and I find myself mentally preparing for the reverse culture shock I tend to face. So when I finally purchased my ticket to fly across the Atlantic, nothing but, “what have I done?” thoughts ran through my head.
I live in Mallorca. The sea surrounds me. Sunshine doesn’t hide behind the clouds here. I bike to work everyday. I rollerblade along the seashore at least once a week.
And suddenly I’m home.
What have I done?
The thoughts, well, they still come and go. (I’m not going to lie or be overly optimistic because it is ridiculously cold here.) But the reasons as to why I am here are clearer than the icicles hanging outside this small town’s sports bar – and that’s family. Being far away all the time has its beautiful moments, and you can feel like a bird or some great explorer, and you embrace your youth because you’re enriching yourself moment by moment by immersing yourself in a different culture & country. You’re living outside the box. You’re always on your toes, and the world is at your finger tips. I can go on and on about how residing in another country other than your home is nothing but positive. But being around the familiar can really ground a wanderer. It makes me grateful for who raised me, and makes me realize how important it is to pause the selfish, “I’m in my twenties I gotta feel it all and live it all,” notion and give time to what’s most important.
As I edit my photographs of small towns and the Illinois landscapes I explored with my father, I smile to myself, because Mallorca (or other places) will always be there. Right now I get to drive around in a light bluish/lilac 1996 Ford truck with my dad and hear stories he’s never told me, and still learn about him. Therefore, I continue to learn about myself.
Unfortunately, the cold hard truth is that with people, it’s not always guaranteed that they’ll be where you left them. Time flies; to state the obvious. So however wanderlust-filled your soul is, always make time for the love of getting lost, as well as the most important love that supports this spirit in you.