Tess Youmans

Class of 2017

Missing Where I Used To Be

9

JULY 2017

Travels
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Peru

Homesickness is not a feeling which I have found myself familiar with–

I have always been comfortable with the discomforts that come along with travel: cold showers, unexpected weather, language barriers, running out of currency, the list goes on. So now that we are faced with the daunting task of returning to Royal Oak, I am not sure what to call the feeling that comes with leaving Cusco.

We have become at home nestled among the Andes Mountains, adjusted to literally having our heads in the clouds, and learned that right of way for pedestrians is more of a notion than an actual process. Just like our own home town, there are small parts of Cusco which we have adopted as our own: the crepe shop down the block and the pizza place across the street became our midnight binge spots, the store owners willing to really bargain down that blanket began to recognize us on return visits, and we abandoned our maps after the second day (regardless of whether it was a wise choice).

“I will be left with a craving for the slick cobblestones in the morning and the dueling car horns in the middle of the night.

Leaving Royal Oak came with a feeling of anticipation, excitement, and for some a hint of anxiety. But now that I find myself leaving Cusco I know that I will be left with a craving for the slick cobblestones in the morning and the dueling car horns in the middle of the night. There are few things in life that will match the feeling of walking down a city street between hot sun and freezing shade, with an empanada in hand and a mountain view ahead.

When I return home though, and find that feeling of missing where I used to be, I know that I will find solace in the knowledge that having been here I did better for the world than before. Working with amazing people to do good things and learning things about parts of the world that many will never see.

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