A few days ago I was chatting with my younger sister Molly about my family’s upcoming trip to Morocco. I decided to ask her if she’d be willing to write something for my blog about how she’s feeling about the trip… here’s what she wrote!
335 days ago I sat cross-legged beside my sister as we sorted through the things that would accompany her for the next 27 months she would spend in Morocco. Today, I find myself packing once again. Only this time the suitcase is for myself and will accompany my family and I on our visit to Morocco, which we will embark on in exactly one week. I am absolutely over the moon about this, to say the least. While Abbey is definitely looking forward to the jars of peanut butter and Goldfish that I have stowed away in my bag for her, I have a few other things that I’m looking forward to experiencing during my ten days in Morocco.
First, having the ability to talk to her through a medium other than FaceTime (a.k.a. giving her the biggest group hug in the middle of the airport ever). Second, I will finally get to experience many of the countless stories that she’s told me over the months that have passed firsthand. I’ll get to see the town and meet the people that have played such prominent roles in her adventures. I will FINALLY get to live through my very own “couscous Friday” that I have heard her rave endlessly about. I will also get to see my family members ride camels, which I have no doubt will be entirely entertaining. For ten days I will also try to set aside my incredibly picky eating habits, which I can already tell will be quite the challenge. And sharing the same passion as my Dad and Abbey, I can’t deny that I am pretty pumped to capture some moments with my camera that are pretty zwin bzaff (did I say that right?!) Maybe I can learn a little Arabic during the trip too. But most of all, I think my family would agree, the thing that I am looking forward to most is getting to experience even just a little bit of the adventurous new life that my big sis’ has created for herself.
I hope Morocco is ready for the Walsh Family, because in just seven days the whole gang will be back together.
Where is home?
College students grapple with new things throughout their years of study – but right now a feeling of displacement is washing over me. It’s hard to create a feeling of home when you rarely stay in the same place for more than four months. I’m now half-way done with my Junior year of college, and yet I have no idea where home is.
I’ve moved so much in my life that I get confused when people ask me where I’m from. “I was born in Massachusetts, but my family lives in Texas now… and I go to school in Washington, DC.” Oh, and I’ve lived in Connecticut and Illinois too. Now I live in Cape Town, but soon I’ll be back in Texas, then to DC again. How will I identify myself when I go there? I’m not actually from either of those places.
But maybe that’s what I love so much about myself. I am a product of so many different cities, towns, states, cultures… and now countries. I don’t know where I’m going or where I want to live, but that’s part of the wonder of going into the field of international development. I am becoming a citizen of the world. I’ve never stayed in the same place for long, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
The shock and awe of a new place will never get old for me. I’m living in Cape Town, South Africa, right now, but I’m already looking forward to my next adventure. Where am I going to move to next? I really want to join the Peace Corps after I graduate. Will I come back to Africa? Will I be able to go to South America and finally become fluent in Spanish? Who knows. All I know is that I’m excited to find out.
So maybe I don’t have a home in this world right now. When I try and envision home in my mind all I see are the faces of my family and friends that I hold most dear. I haven’t been “homesick” during my time abroad, but I really miss laughing so hard we start to cry with my mom or being incredibly sarcastic with my dad. I miss endless Sonic happy hour runs and watching stupid TV with my siblings. I miss seeing my dogs’ excited faces when I walk in the door. I miss walking up Mass Ave to school with my girlfriends and I miss holding my boyfriend’s hand through all of the weird adventures we get ourselves into.
So if that’s my home, yeah… I guess I’m homesick. (Are you relieved mom?)
See y’all in a month.