In December, I went back to the States for a couple of weeks. For the past 5 years, I have traveled to Europe in December to spend the holidays with my husband and his family. This year, since I live in Europe, I traveled back to the US. My trip was multi-purpose; I wanted to see my friends and family, but I also had the opportunity to participate in my Masters’ graduation ceremony.
I flew into Chicago prepared for the worse in regards to the weather, but I was greeted by unusually mild weather. My trip was off to a fantastic start. In Chicago, I was able to catch up with several of my friends, eat at my favorite restaurants, and shop at my favorite stores. It was a really nice visit.
During my two weeks in the States, I also flew down to Alabama to visit my family. I was really excited to see my mom, even though she lives in the middle of nowhere Alabama. I also went to see my aunts, brother, cousin and an assortment of nieces and nephews. Another highlight of my Alabama trip was attending the graduation ceremony for my Masters in Human Resource Management. This graduation was important to me because it was the first time my mom was able to see one of my graduation ceremonies since high school (I’ve had a couple since then). It was great to see everyone.
I realized a few things during my visit. The first, and most shocking, was that Chicago didn’t feel like home anymore. Alabama hasn’t felt like home in ages, so I wasn’t surprised by that, but Chicago had been home for a decade. I felt like a visitor in a place that was once so familiar. It was a very strange feeling. While I don’t entirely feel at home in the Netherlands yet, I did miss it while away. Chicago will always have a piece of my heart, but now it has to share it with my beautiful new home.