September 19-29 2017
Barcelona & El Perello, Spain
What is the definition of home? What does the word home mean to you?
I am currently in flight, sitting next to my boyfriend, Jimmy, coming back from Spain to New York…where we live, so we might call that home. Neither of us had ever been to Spain before, but both agree this has been the best trip either of us have ever been on.
The common thing about coming to a new place is feeling like an outsider or feeling like you are just visiting rather than feeling like you’re home. Both Jimmy and I don’t speak very much Spanish (I don’t speak it at all), and like I said, we were first timers, so naturally, we scream foreigner or tourist, which is totally okay.
Fortunately, we had the opportunity to spend time with my aunt and uncle who moved to El Perello, Spain ten years ago. This made the trip very special for me because I’ve only seen them twice since then, and before that can only remember being with them a few times because they lived in Vermont prior.
Since moving to Spain, they have become fluent in Spanish and have become completely accustomed to life there, and have never been happier. From what I remembered about them from when I was a kid was that they always seemed so happy with one another, and are two of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I always felt a strong connection with them because they are both very artistic and creative, always doing projects together. They also traveled all over the world together, which I’ve always found inspiring. When they decided to move to Spain ten years ago, I know a lot of my family was probably
shocked. It’s a big move. Some may find it really difficult to move so far away from everyone they know and love, where they may not already know the language, or how the locals live, etc.–to leave home. Some may even consider it to be starting
over. It can be daunting. But what became very apparent on this trip was that home is not always necessarily a house, or a place or city that you grew up or spent a lot of time. Home is a feeling. Home is who you are with. It’s what you make it.
My aunt and uncle made a beautiful home for themselves in El Perello, filled with items from their travels all over the world, and things they’ve made and things family and friends have sent them. All those things can make a home, but for them, the love and happiness they share together is really what makes them feel home, because no matter where they are, they have each other.
I happened to discover the same sentiment on this trip with Jimmy. We’ve been together for about eight months, and we’ve been on one short trip together before this one, to California back in April. A little background, in New York, I work days and Jimmy works nights and we don’t share the same days off. Our time spent together is a little disjointed, and can sometimes be quite short. We were both really looking forward to this trip–besides being able to explore beautiful Barcelona, and visit my family in El Perello–we were excited to have ten full, uninterrupted days together. My aunt and uncle were extremely welcoming to us, giving us their spare apartment in Barcelona to stay in when we were not at their house in El Perello. We explored the city streets, we went to the beach, visited all the sites, we ate and drank all day long. Some nights we stayed out until 5am and others we decided to stay in at the apartment early. We never thought it was a waste of a night because we were just happy to be together. And when we were out, Jimmy might say to me, “let’s go home,” and he didn’t mean to New York of course, he meant back to the apartment in Barcelona, because home was wherever we could be
together, and just be.
And now we will be landing “home” shortly, and of course have the end of trip blues, having to resume normal life, work, etc. But that’s okay, because we aren’t going alone; we’re going together. And just like the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes song, home is wherever I’m with you.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Sam Parlato is a graphic designer, fine artist, and jewelry maker (among other things). She obtained a BFA in graphic design from St. John’s University in 2015, and since then has been freelancing, working odd jobs, and building her own business here in Brooklyn, New York. Check out her interview with Mother Muse Co too! And be sure to keep following along with her work!