June 10, 2015
I have always loved to travel. From road trips to long flights, the thrill of new places and people has always enticed me. My junior year of college, I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad studying Spanish. To Madrid I went, experiencing everything from new words to new foods and customs. It was wonderful.
But not a wonderland. As a whole, I have noticed that travel — or “study abroad,” specifically — is viewed as a sort of magical getaway. Foreign places have an appeal beyond the sights. Foreign places, and the physical concept of traveling far from home, give us the idea that we are escaping our natural day-to-day for something of a paradise. We lose all responsibility to the beauty of a new skyline or sunset, and we begin to imagine that the destination remains in a perpetual state of perfection.
Before my travels, I thought the same. As a child, I grew up in Orono, Minn. Four years ago, I made the small (or perhaps large, depending on perspective) move to Minneapolis. As an incoming freshman at the University of Minnesota, I wasn’t sure what to expect living in a city or being a part of a college campus. Orono borders on the edge of suburb and small town, and even some Minnesota natives aren’t quite sure where it’s located.
But I have always loved Minneapolis, always idolized its skyline and wide variety of bars and restaurants, shows and attractions. To me, the city is an ideal place to live. Home to public transportation, diversity and an active lifestyle, I can’t think of a more suitable place to be.
Minnesota is cold; we all know that. The winters are long and dreaded, and even the most die-hard Minnesotan has questioned more than once: Why do I live here? At times, it has seemed, there are many better places to be than here.
We somehow fantasize that every destination other than our own — every vacation hotspot — harbors a better, more pleasant way of living. The grass is always greener, right? But have you ever wondered what it would be like to call a holiday getaway “home”? Or wonder what small nuance lives in such a place to make its own residents question: Why do I live here?
Four years ago, I found a home in Minneapolis and truly (even at the expense of sounding cheesy) could not be happier. After traversing my way through college, I have found a hotspot amidst the cold. I love parks and city streets. I love food, and I love beer. I love musicals and farmers’ markets, concerts and coffee shops. No matter the distance travelled, I’m always glad to come home.
Travel far, travel wide. Travel often and for as long as you can. But remember, every destination is a home to somebody. Make yours a destination to you.