I've been thinking about the word home a lot lately, and what exactly it means to me. It's a word we all throw around a lot - "We are heading home for the next two weeks" - or - "It's good to be home" - etc.
Since moving to Tel Aviv, I have struggled with the definition of home. When people here ask where I'm from, in my mind I think, "Where from as in most recently, or where I grew up? Please clarify." I usually say Chicago. Yet we did live in Baltimore for the past five years - it's where we are most recently from, and where we will eventually move back to.
|Baltimore - 4th of July - 2014|
|Estes Park - December - 2013|
I think home can mean a lot of things. Ultimately, my home in regards to my roots will always be the Chicago area, my favorite city in the world and where my awesome family lives. Yet my home is now Tel Aviv, where my husband and I reside, and it took up until the past week for that to really hit me.
It was interesting going home the past two weeks - and by home, I guess I mean the U.S. We hopped from Chicago to Colorado to Mexico and back to Colorado, and saw almost all of our good friends and family in the process; it was a fantastic time. Yet it was the first time when meeting someone new and asked where we were from, we both smiled and said Israel. Tel Aviv.
But to be honest I was kind of dreading coming back. I was being a huge whiny baby and was afraid to fly back without Andrew, acting as if I was being sent off to a third world country with no connections or friends. When in reality, I was coming back to our cozy apartment and some super supportive and amazing friends.
I was wheels down here last Wednesday evening - JFK to TLV is an 11ish hour flight - followed immediately by a three day competition that I'm really excited to write about next. And what I was sure would be a tearful, mopey return on my part absolutely wasn't. It was easy, comfortable, and above all else made me realize that Tel Aviv is now truly my home.
|Tel Aviv - Yom Kippur - 2016|
I'll wrap up by getting a little mushy. This spring has been absolutely insane - in both good and bad ways. We lost our dog daughter which will forever make our souls ache, but have figured out how to work through hardships together while friends and family rallied around us. We had several visitors come explore Israel with us, followed by a fabulous time back in the States. We have tallied 15 total flights between the two of us since March.
|Fort Collins - May 2015|
Today is our two year anniversary today and while at this point a low-key night of wine and sushi sounds perfect, I don't want to downplay the celebration of the past two years. It's been nothing and everything that I could have imagined, and I cannot and would not trade a single second of it - I think he would say the same.
We aren't necessarily following the cookie cutter timeline of how things should look for married couples... we won't own a house for awhile still, and don't plan to start a family while living overseas. But I've really never been a cookie cutter, follow the recipe/instructions type of girl. I prefer to make my own odd, unique cookies. Even if they sometimes get a little bit burnt.