Just when I thought life was starting to get irritatingly difficult here in Spain, I booked my Christmas trip. I somehow convinced my mom, who HATES flying (and that’s a complete understatement), to get on a flight to Ireland…
And it worked! I spent the last 10 days in Ireland with my mom. It was incredibly relaxing if you can believe that. We rented a car, beginning our journey in Galway, traveling to Dublin and then to Cork, and then back to Shannon so my mom could catch her flight home to Boston. I 100% could have spent another week just walking the countryside and curling up by the fireplace in our Airbnb near Cork. And the amount I spoke was astonishing. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to speak (in English!!! Finally!!) and have someone else understand me, without having to explain myself in circles, using unfamiliar vocabulary. The relaxing part may have been that my brain finally got a rest from operating in a second language 100% of the time.
However relaxing this was, I missed my home in Euskadi more than ever. I was constantly reminded of the rolling hills and the tranquility of the beach that has become such a huge part of my life and of my way of relaxing. And part of me just wanted to run along the trail by the sea in Sopelana one more time.
Well, here I am, back in Euskadi and, for the first time, I truly feel at home. The friends I wanted to see first were my artisan beer friends and my “unofficial flat” friends in Casco. Mission accomplished! After a few months of visa craziness and still feeling like a complete outsider (who knows if that will ever go away)…I was so happy to be back in the craziness. It was finally a familiar craziness. And as much as it drives me nuts, it also makes me feel at home.