no place like home
With every major move, our minds seek out a touchstone to ground our thoughts and emotions. It may have felt a bit disorienting to return home after two years in Africa, but it feels even more so to leave now that we’ve reached the end of our brief American stay. On the eve of our departure to foreign lands, our thoughts again turn to home.
Because of the difficulty of transporting our dog to Moldova, we have split up. D has already left for Chisinau while S will spend a week visiting her parents before traveling next week to Romania, the closest country to which we can ship Emmie. Although he did not get a full week with his parents, D also returned home briefly before flying to Europe. He scheduled a day of work consultations, which enabled him to spend a night in New York City after we departed DC.
Growing up in New York, D struggled to imagine ever leaving the Big Apple. Whenever he traveled outside the city limits he was filled with the smugness so common to New Yorkers, who know that there is no place like it anywhere in the world. But then the travel bug bit.
D only spent eight years in New York, but they were the formative years of his adolescence. Although he has lived in many cities and several countries since, no place feels quite like home in the way that New York does. It’s something about the way the streets smell, the many tongues its people speak, the way the city is bursting with life at all hours of the day and night that will forever resonate with D’s inner being.
We spent a few days in New York this summer, but D made a couple of additional trips. And the city welcomed him just the way he remembered it from his teenage years — with sweaty shows, midnight slices of greasy, delicious pizza, the best bagels in the world, and a jam-packed subway system that is the most surefire way of feeling the pulse of this city.
We know people who have spent their entire lives in New York and others who moved there after college and have never left. We don’t envy them but every once in a while D looks back on his days in the city and wonders what it would’ve been like if he remained a New Yorker through and through.