Here in Switzerland, people are constantly asking me, “where are you from?” It’s a simple question, but I always struggle to answer. Do they want to know where I grew up? (Youngstown, Ohio.) Where I lived last with Nestle? (St. Louis, Missouri.) Where my immediate family lives? (Youngstown, Nashville, and Atlanta.) Or when traveling around Europe, do they want to know where I currently live? (Vevey, Switzerland.)
One thing is certain. The idea of home is very fluid to me. I think this comes from living in five different cities in the past decade. Vevey certainly feels like home after 11 months of living here and creating a life & community of new friends. But, the US will always be home to me, too.
Today, I am getting on a plane to fly back to the States for my first proper visit since moving to Europe. I have a nine page itinerary printed that is full of fun every, single day. There are 156 people listed by name on the itinerary, but I know I will get to see even more than that. I’m making stops in 10 different cities in 7 states, which may be a wee bit crazy. (I’ll let you know when it’s over.) I know the thought of a three-week trip with a packed agenda may be stressful for you, but I am a Connector and an Extrovert, so my excitement and anticipation is bubbling over!
I’m looking forward to all of the laughter that will be shared…the new memories that will be made…and the reminiscing that will take place. I am also grateful that I will get to hug those who have lost parents, babies, and siblings this year (and probably cry with them, too)…that I will get to meet at least 15 new babies…that I will get to celebrate new homes and new jobs…that I will get to meet new husbands and fiances…that I will be able to attend the wedding of a dear friend.
It’s also fun to think about enjoying some of my faovirte things…getting a pedicure (or two!), shopping at Target (I’m taking three suitcases, so that I’m prepared!), eating Chick-fil-a, Mexican food, and BBQ. I’m curious to see if I feel reverse culture shock after growing accustomed to my new Euro life.
While I would like to blog throughout the trip, I will have to play it by ear. One way or another, I will be sure to share stories and photos. For now, I leave you with my favorite phrase…GET EXCITED!!!!