SEATTLE—After a 10-hour flight filled with old movies, dry airplane snacks, and the horrendous smell of un-brushed teeth emanating from the guy sitting next to me, I am relieved to step off the plane and get out of the airport.
While in the car, I remember the past few months: rowing a Dragonboat down the Grand Canal, sipping fine wine by at the Seine at sunset, and snorkeling in the vivid blue waters of Croatia. I have lived the fantasy of a typical wanderlustful 19-year old college student, and I could not be more grateful.
It is unbelievable how quickly time passed. As I peer out the window, green forests flash past my eyes under the perfectly and cloudless blue sky above. I am in Washington State. I am home.
My time overseas was primarily filled with exhilarating, breathtaking moments as I discovered the world for the first time. Regardless of the fun, there were certainly periods of homesickness in which I wished to click my red heels three times and be back in the safety of my own nest.
It’s a familiar feeling. Even at school, especially in times of high stress, I itch to get out of the place where I am and catch the next flight home. But, as I sit here in the comfort of my own home—somewhere I always long to be when I am away—with no responsibilities or stress (for the time being), I am already antsy to leave. Go somewhere new. Anywhere.
I’ve been home for four days.
It is a bit frightening to consider how quickly humans grow and change; within less than a year, I have gone from pathetically not lasting two weeks at summer camp to losing my mind out of boredom after a week at home. My summer abroad was even more transformative. Essentially, I realized how much of the world I have been missing out on over the past 19 years, which, in all honesty, was enlightening…and depressing.
Maybe Dorothy was right. Maybe there is no place like home. But perhaps not even home can bring the long-term satisfaction and comfort as it used to when I was a child, before I packed up my bags and moved 3,000 miles across the country. I like this newfound, bright-eyed, travel-ready version of myself—coming from a small town with not much going on in it, I would hate to become complacent and satisfied with staying here when there is so much to do and see and so little time.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always love, cherish, and remember where I came from. I also will not be surprised if those bouts of homesickness continue. I’m realizing, however, that although there is no place like home, home is not always the place for me. There is far too much adventure to be had, and more often than feeling homesick, I yearn to see what I have not before. Sorry, Dorothy. The Yellow Brick Road never looked so good.
Lillian V. Albright ‘18, a Crimson editorial writer, lives in Eliot House.