Quite a bit, actually.
Who's "her," you ask? Justified question, unless you spend a lot of time around me. Then you'd know.
She is Colombia.
Why is Colombia a she, not an it? Or a he, for that matter? Hwell, it would make sense in that the country is a neutral noun in German. "Das Land" is neither feminine nor masculine, so using "it" in English would be a logical solution for this Austrian girl. Similarly, "he" could be my pronoun of choice, seeing how I always talk about loving, missing, adoring, dreaming about,... Colombia. But no. She's a she to me.
I'm talking about this now, because I realized that, aside from being back for over a year now, I also haven't gone anywhere in over a year.
I haven't left the continent.
I haven't left my time zone.
I haven't left the country. (Passau doesn't count; it's so close to the border it might as well be Austria still.)
I haven't left the region. (Passau doesn't count; it was barely a whole weekend we spent there.)
I've barely even left Vienna. I mean, I never even went more than an hour's drive away. (Passau bla bla...)
In fact, I barely even leave my district - if not my neighbourhood!
Might as well stop leaving the house altogether...
No, don't worry, it won't come that far.
However, I realized I haven't been in Austria for this long continuously EVER!
Annual holidays with the family every year. Then language study programmes every year. Then I got my backpack. No stopping after that, until UWI. But "at least" I was away. But now... It just... Stop.
If we discount the family vacations (because those weren't my choice, my own trips and travels), then I still haven't been here for this page a chunk of time in over seventeen years. The time I haven't been really sedentary could vote and drink if it was a person! Think about that! My mind would have blown now if it hadn't melted four paragraphs up.
Now, I think I can make this work.
It's just another kind of journey. I'm spending time with my friends, I'm reconnecting and re-inserting myself into my family, I'm in training to become a professional in a field that's otherwise new to me, I'm having a lot of #ohnoimagrownup moments. Stuff is happening. And things.
And I plan on not being in the same place all the time as soon as I have a proper income and my savings account is again collecting savings, not needing to be saved (from starvation).
One thing that's standing out the most, though, is how long I haven't been in Colombia. It's been over three and a half years. I know that's not objectively a long time, but to me it is. I do get homesick a lot (sorry, mom). A little while ago, I saw this video posted on YouTube and immediately felt the añoranza, the saudade, the homesickness so badly, I just couldn't stop crying (sorry, mom). I actually -for real- had to call my mom so she would console me over the phone. Hey, mom, have I apologised yet? Sorry, mom.
I'm now in the process of "Colombia-nising" my place in hopes of it making me feel better. Not just about missing her but about the whole stuckness. To remind myself that this is temporary and I'll be able to be my roaming self again soon. A toned down version, at least. Turns out, when you work full time outside of an academic setting, you can't just take three to six months off and still have a job when you come back. Whaaat? Fellow adults (sure, that's what we are, not bill-paying kids), please tell me how you do it. I have to learn to successfully live like this without losing myself and my happiness in the process. And soon!
I haven't come far with the "Colombia-nification" of my place yet, but I've made a start.
Check it out:
So yes, I miss her. So crazy much.
But I'm fine.