When I opened up my social media feeds this past weekend, I was blown away.
Blown away by just how many people were out on the streets on Saturday protesting hate, inequality, and injustice. Blown away by the photos of the crowds, the witty signs they made, the powerful words they spoke and posted. Blown away by the sheer size of it, not just in DC or across the US, but around the world. I saw some amazing awareness, compassion, understanding, and support taking place, and it warmed my heart.
On our recent trip to Minneapolis, Simon and I did what any good travelers on a budget do: we looked for a cheaper airport to fly into. When you’re heading to the Twin Cities, that frequently means Chicago O’Hare.
After we found a good deal on flights, we decided to book the Megabus from Chicago to Minneapolis — and wound up with several hours to spend in the Windy City on both ends of our journey.
I say “obviously” because, if you did, you would know that I haven’t lived in my home country of the United States for over six years.
You might not know the whole story, but you’d know enough: that I left shortly after graduating with my bachelor’s degree, that I went first to New Zealand, and that somehow, I wound up living in Europe with a Dutch boyfriend I picked up along the way. The basics.
This past “summer” in the Netherlands was pretty much what I’ve come to expect after two years.
It was cold. It was cloudy. It was wet. I grumbled and pouted and questioned nearly every day why I had chosen to live in such a godforsaken place, which I can only assume means I should get my Dutch passport in the mail any day now. (“Je bent één van ons. Veel sterkte.”)
When you’ve been living abroad for as long as I have, the idea of “going home” starts to become a bit fuzzy.
Though I use the word frequently — both to refer to my apartment here in Dedemsvaart, and my hometown of Minneapolis — if someone were to straight up ask me what I consider home, I wouldn’t be able to answer. At least, not in the traditional sense.