It took me a long while to really get used to this whole ‘coming home’ thing… I didn’t want to at first. I wanted to continue to explore the world, discover a zillion and three more faces, understand this home of mine. I was a little afraid of being stuck back in this small town Iowa setting again. I went from the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and the coastal mountains of the Cinqueterre in Italy to New Hampton Iowa…

In the few weeks I’ve been home, I have not had conversations with herds of sheep or dipped my toes into the Mediterranean, but I have eaten perfectly grilled sweet corn and danced in the rain of a warm summer shower with some of my closest friends and family.

I have missed far more than the adventures and excitement of the last year. I have missed the ‘family’ I have left on the other side of the world. But here I have been greeted with overwhelming love from the family I left a year ago. We have laughed and talked. We have danced and played. We have shared stories and made more plans for the future. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yesterday morning I got up, walked to one of our local coffee shops, got an iced americano and just sat in the sun and read my book. It truly was a beautiful moment. But it wasn’t the book or the coffee or the sun that made me realize I missed this place I call home.

It was the people. It will always be the people. 

Someone calling to you across the street just to say hello, is a comfort a didn’t know I missed. The feeling of being able to be anywhere in town and see someone you know is something I  used to hate… sometimes I still do. But after not having it, I realize how reassuring it is to know you have people in the world. People who know you, who care about you. People like I have here.

I cherish those people in my life; the ones I have known from childhood who I can tell my deepest feelings to and the ones who I’ve only known for a couple weeks but care about me none the less. I know when I go back to Europe (because I WILL go back) I will have those feelings of love and comfort and recognition. Right now though, I will take the ones I have here.

I have missed this place.

I have missed this love.

I have missed these people.

And for now… I am home.

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