We often miss home, even though Edu’s idea of home and my idea of home is completely different (Remember, we come from two different cultures.), we still miss mom’s cooking, certain smells, special days, and of course, people. No matter how far you may go, you can’t ever make up for the people you miss. However, my two cents for any ex-pat would be 1) Visit when you can, 2) Keep in touch, and 3) Get involved where you’re at.
I always loved the Arts & Jazz Festival held in the springtime in my city every year. I would go with a friend or two, look at the art, listen to some good jazz music, and split a funnel cake. I miss going and it takes a while to find out the annual happenings when you live overseas. It can even be quite frustrating to go to the grocery store in the middle of the week, and find it closed (again) for a town holiday. What holiday? Who knows. The point is everyone else knew and I didn’t. Once again, I feel like a foreigner.
So, what do you do? Find a way to get a local calendar of events, buy groceries ahead of time, and join in what’s happening around you. Sure it’s not the same as the Arts & Jazz Fest back home. But I’m a part of the town and I’m out and about greeting neighbors, seeing kids from school, etc. Not the foreigner, at home, inside, without groceries (just kidding).
It’s fun to be a part of local life and it really does help to make a place feel like home when you have a connection to where you live. I will always regret missing weddings, birthdays, and other important events, (like my dad being inducted to the SWATA Hall of Fame) but it does make things easier when you know what’s going on and take part. With all that said, we went out for a walk on Saturday night and enjoyed the inauguration of the new Mercat de Sant Joan. Many streets were decorated, shops stayed open till midnight, and there were lots of free samples from local restaurants. Yum! Here are a few pics from the evening!