American Holidays

The joys of an American holiday season.

I have no shame in saying that I have barely thought about Peru and my home in Lima over the past three weeks. I have been too busy enjoying winter weather, time with my family, familiar streets, the English language and lots of visits with friends.

In the weeks leading up to my trip to the States, I was the most homesick I had ever been.  I yearned to come home and in nearly everything I did I remembered, "Just two weeks until the States..."

No amount of homesickness could have prepared me for the feeling of pure joy and gladness I have felt since being home. The first few days, I was emotional wreck. On Christmas Eve, we went to see the Tennessee Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars and I cried at the first note of the National Anthem. That evening at our Christmas Eve service, I cried while singing the familiar lyrics of Christmas Carols. I cried when hearing country music on the radio and when seeing the cheerful face of my parents dog.

And now, as I enter my last week in the States, I have once again become emotional and feel unprepared for my return to Lima. Yesterday as I sat in the Nashville airport waiting to pick up my mom, I sat listening to some wannabe country music star playing music for the whole lounge. In the moment, as I saw the sign for a beloved Nashville deli and heard "Welcome to Music City" come across the loud speaker, I was overwhelmed by my love for Nashville.

For my whole life, I have wanted to move away. To see the world and to live in a bustling city. Even a mid sized city like Nashville, felt too small for me. But now that I have done those things, I have moved away and lived in a huge city, I am drawn to the quaint, familiar feeling of Nashville. To the feeling of home.

Nashville is my home. My family is my home. Though I currently make my life somewhere else, it doesn't feel like my home. Just like all the travelers who have gone before me, I finally know the sweet joy of being able to simply come home.