Friday, January 20, 2012

Going Home

It is amazing how as you become an adult, the concept of home changes and grows. Over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, we were lucky enough to visit both my childhood home and the city that I refer to as home. I have been living in Richmond full-time for a little over 6 months, but it still doesn’t feel like home and I am not sure it ever will. 

I grew up in a small town in the Southeastern corner of Wisconsin. My parents and sister still live there. I also have a number of friends living in the area. I moved away when I was in my early twenties and haven’t been there for anything longer than a week in years. There are a lot of memories in this area, both good and bad, but it is not the place for me to live. Don't get me wrong, I miss my family and friends a ton, but it is not a good fit for the type of life I want to live. The weather is a big part of it. Lack of sun and warm weather makes me a crabby girl. 

I moved to Orlando in my early 20s and even though I had been living there for several years, it really started to feel like home a few months before I got married. My husband and I had been living together for a little over a year at this point and all of a sudden it dawned on me I had created a home of my own. We traveled a lot that year and on one trip to Orlando I realized this really was now my home. My husband and I built our lives in Orlando for several years before we decided that it was the right time for me to work on my PhD. Leaving was really hard, because it felt like I leaving home…again. 
Ice skating with the family

A substantial portion of my husband’s family still lives in Orlando, so when we lived there we would see them on a regular basis. It was so amazing to watch our nieces and nephew grow up. This year, we got to spend New Year’s and most of the week after with them and the rest of the family. During the week we went ice skating with them (I know we went to FL to ice sounds silly), took them to the airplane park by the airport and did some other fun things. We also spent time with some really great friends we hadn’t seen in a while. In addition to the great people, I am much happier when I am not forced to stay inside or freeze for 6 months out of the year. 

Giant airplane by the Orlando airport

Traveling during the holidays is a little crazy, and this year it left me completely exhausted, but was really worth it. We got to spend time with both families, and visit some of our favorite Orlando places. It may have been almost three and a half years since I left, but going to Orlando still feels like going home.