“Who would’ve thought that when we met five years ago we’d be trekking in Torres del Paine together?” I say to Lindsay as we hike from Refugio Grey to Refugio Paine Grande in one of southern Patagonia’s most famous national parks.
Life, and the crossing of paths, is a seemingly strange and mind-blowing thing. Today, our second of five days in Torres del Paine, my mind traipses through my story with Lindsay.
She and I met in August 2012. I was fresh out of college and looking for marketing work in the social impact space. Lindsay was the national director of Right To Play – USA, an organization I was keen to work with. We initially connected through email, and then, when I was traveling through San Francisco, we met for coffee on a Friday afternoon at La Boulange. Our relationship, a mentorship and now a friendship, has grown from there.
“Home” is a concept I ponder quite often. For me, Michigan, especially northern Michigan, will always be home. But the more I travel and live in other places, the more I realize that there are so many things that constitute “home.” Or rather, there are so many things that can make a place “home.”
I’m reminded of my friend Lindsay Hower’s idea of “finding home.” We find home in different ways wherever we are. I definitely find home among people. I often find home in the water. I find home in nature. I find home in something as small as freshly-baked chocolate chip scones and a warm cup of tea in the comfort of wherever it is I find myself living. I find home in routine — in incorporating the things I know I need in my life into my life.
I returned to Buenos Aires last night after spending the month of March in Medellín, Colombia with Unsettled.
It was a fast, intense and incredible month, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I quickly fell in love with Medellín — what’s not to love about a city tucked in the beautiful Colombian Andes — but within a few days, I found my love, admiration and respect for the people I was in community with taking over. So after a month, you can only imagine how deep that love is. How hard it was, and still is, to realize I won’t be seeing them on a daily basis anymore.
I’ve never been around a group of people that was so ready to dive in, especially upon first meeting one another. This group was so willing to embark on this adventure together. We were willing to embrace the unknown together; willing to be open, honest and vulnerable with one another; willing to trust one another.
Within a matter of days, 21 strangers became friends, and within a month, those 21 friends became family.
To Laura and Nicole, my first roommates in the San Francisco Bay Area —
My move from the Bay Area to Buenos Aires has me reflecting a lot on our first year in Berkeley together. Our lovely little house on Hearst with an overgrown front porch, the most comfortable olive-green couch and our very own washer and dryer. That home holds many memories for me. It’s the one I shared with the two of you; the foundation of our friendship; and the place in which I started my Bay Area life.
I thought a lot about you and my first year in Berkeley as I was packing up my apartment and leaving the Bay Area in September. But it wasn’t until I arrived in Buenos Aires and navigated my first month here that I really grew to understand and appreciate your influence in my start, and then life, in the Bay Area.
You see, without the two of you, my life there would not have been the same. In more ways than one, you helped me get my feet on the ground and flourish in Berkeley.