I’ve come home this week!
Just kidding. But a visit with another friend is providing me with a small taste of being back with the family.
After a brilliant week of hiking and biking through the snow and rain of the Berner Oberland, I’ve gone back north to the countryside around Zurich (the Zuricher Oberland, actually). I’m now with my friend, Luana, who was an exchange student to my high school while I was a senior. We’ve since passed five years without seeing each other – the fact that so much time passes so quickly kind of scares me. Regardless, we have reunited at last!
What’s particularly nice about staying here is the fact that I’m with Luana’s family, a supremely affable clan that reminds me much of my own household. Even better, when I arrived last night her grandmother, from Italy, had prepared handmade lasagna, a true delicacy.
A visit like this is important to me because, while I find most of the travel life thrilling, I admit I do miss my family. This is especially so around now, which is birthday season. Mom sent me a couple of pictures from one of my brother’s celebrations, and I wished I could have been around for the Carpenter style birthday song, which I think everybody should feel once in their life. In general, too, I find my family a great bunch to be around, so I occasionally feel a soft spot for them when I’m away.
Thus, it’s been very nice to be with a family that reminds me so much of my own: welcoming, open, greatly entertaining, and very generous with food. They joked with me that I’ll have to bike even more to make up for their feeding me. It’s a lovely place to be, and I’m living Swiss culture firsthand. Perfect.
Another thing that I’ve noticed while visiting any friend is how easily we can pick right up from whenever we last saw each other. It may be a cliche, but there are some people that, no matter how long it’s been or how intermittent your contact has been, once you’re back together it’s as normal as can be. I feel like I’ve mentioned this countless times by now, but having people like this throughout your world is part of what makes it such a great place to be.You know you’ll always have somebody, somewhere with whom you can share your experiences. This holds true with friends in Philly or in DC, making everywhere a destination, and every departure a little sad. However, it’s comforting to know that, wherever you meet again in the future, you’ll still have that connection.
Now also keep in mind that some of the people you meet on the road can turn into lifelong friends. With this in mind, you’ll know that you’re almost always home.