I'm now back in Necochea after a month-long visit to the States, and I've been up to my eyeballs in translation projects and choral music ever since I returned. Now that I've gotten caught up on my work, lived the excitement of the Coraliada, our multi-day choral festival, and officially tacked on another year to my age, I've finally had a chance to sit down and reflect on my trip.
I lived some wonderful experiences during my time back in the Philadelphia area, and I had the good fortune of visiting a number of delightful places such as Longwood Gardens, the Philadelphia Zoo, Tyler Arboretum and the Jersey shore. I also spent many an evening sipping coffee at Starbucks with my best friend, talking makeup and girly stuff with my little sister, and just catching up in general with family members and friends (and getting to know some new ones, too!). No matter how many emails you send or phone calls you make, nothing beats some good old-fashioned face time.
I took great pleasure in the little moments – small reminders of home that hit me out of the blue and made me grin. I had missed these things, and I hadn't even realized it: watching a flock of Canada geese honking and passing by overhead at sunset; knowing the words to just about every song that came on the radio and singing along as I sped down the highway; savoring some water ice from Rita's on a hot summer's day and having my mouth stained red as a result.
I also brought along some elements of my new life to share: I drank mate with my stepdad, I taught my great-aunt how to make empanadas, and I spoke Spanish at dinner one night with an Argentine and his wife who live just a hop, skip and a jump from my old home.
In some ways it felt so effortless to be back in my former life, but still there were moments that pinched me and reminded me that I've changed since moving to Argentina. This place has left an indelible mark on me.
Home is where the heart is, or so they say. But what happens when your heart is torn between two different countries? I've resigned myself to the fact that there's always bound to be a bit of heartache for me, because no matter where I am in this world, I'm always missing someone who's important to me. Straddling two cultures, two lands – it's not easy. What do you say we just squeeze the continents back together, Pangaea-style?
If you'd like to check out some of the photos from my trip, take a look here.