“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.
Life is not always easy. It’s messy. It is a balance of ups and downs and everything in between.
Sure, it seems obvious, but I sometimes think it’s worth stating the obvious.
Throughout this journey, this journey of living abroad and this journey of living life, I think it’s just as important — maybe more important — to share the pieces that are tougher than tough. Because while I’ve had my fair share of exciting and inspiring adventures since moving to Argentina and traveling in South America, the moments I’ve shared on social media are not my everyday life. They’re pieces of my life; they’re a fraction of my life. They’re moments I chose to share, and they’re part of a much greater story.
I choose to share moments and thoughts with those around me — whether that’s in live conversations, in emails, on social media or somewhere else entirely. We all do. They’re often my better moments.
But don’t be fooled. Those moments are not my entire life.
One thing I realized on the subte ride home after working out in a local park with a small group of people Thursday evening is that life is a series of clickable moments — or moments that click.
It seems obvious, but I honestly hadn’t thought of life in this way until now. And it’s an epiphany I’m having as a result of making this international leap to Buenos Aires.
You see, when I moved down here, I knew it would be challenging, but I think I thought there’d be a day, a week, a month when everything just clicked — when everything seemingly fell into place in a moment. More or less.
This year, I spent the holidays in Chile. I spent a week, including Christmas, in Pichilemu, a sleepy little surf town three hours south of Santiago, and then ventured north to Valparaiso, a colorful coastal town built into hills overlooking the Pacific, to ring in 2017.
In all, it was a great trip. I really loved both towns and hope to return to each of them again someday — hopefully with a fellow traveler, or more, in tow.
During my travels, I had my share of tough times, too, especially since I was traveling solo during the holidays.
The distance from my family, friends and even my new home in Buenos Aires gave me new perspective. Traveling solo during the holidays gave me a deeper appreciation for the familiar in my life. It made me see my holiday traditions, the way I usually spend my holidays, in a different way. New places and experiences do that. It’s part of the reason to travel, to explore, to see the world. But it’s tough to do that and stomach those lessons on your own around the holidays.
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.