The frustration of not understanding the Spanish subjunctive, the crispiness of Maltese pastizzi, the divinity of pizza with a good red and a Sorrento sunset, the thrill of seeing doppelgangers or almost missing an international train. The electric feel of Manhattan and the chill of a rooftop party in Brooklyn.
I saw these things, felt them and tasted them.
I also forgot them.
And in an effort to catalogue back. I’m taking stock and recognizing that coming home was part of the adventure.
Because the DNA of ending something big is like a post-game win.
The winning repertoire (for my sport team, specifically a celebratory shoey) is all encompassing. It’s captivating and seductive to the point you forget the core of what it’s all about.
Caught up in the moment don’t forget about the game.
That before we got to the end we go way back. To the principal idea and preparation, to go time, return and everything in between.
We go from sleepless anticipation, bag packing, departure time and tear-laden goodbyes. To arrival gate, new skyline and matchless colours of an unfamiliar sunset.
All of it, now time and oceans away.
I never wrote a tribute to my time abroad, never sat and contemplated what that summer floating in the Mediterranean sea felt like, or how making a life in Navarra affected the me I bought home.
But now, as I sit approaching the one-year mark of leaving, it’s becoming real again.
I’m coining it the 147 day reflex, the time it’s taken for me to come home and recall the experience not as a fantastical, alternate universe, but as something real I was witness and subject to.
Like many of the best times, I’m scared to think we place our best memories on a pedestal of dreamlike fantasy. We put them in a box or Facebook album and deduce them to a state of irrevocable distance. As if those things didn’t really happen.
But god do they exist.
I’m no advocate for dwelling on the past, but am so pro, closed eyes and drifts back to those places of feeling crazy alive, young, wild and free – and bringing that vigour back to now – double shot please.
As an ode to life in the present, I want us to get entangled in the clamor of the best feelings in the world. The thrill of unknown streets and the romance of words you don’t understand.
Isn’t that the dream? In real time.