Before I graduated from college, I was worried about how much I was going to miss living in Portland. I was with my good friend Mari, in our favorite little town, Sellwood, and we were just leaving our go-to study spot, Tea Chai Tè, when we realized that we would no longer be living in the beautiful city of Portland on our safe college campus of LC.
I was about to graduate from college, at the perfect age of 21, when I thought, for someone who was born and raised in Hawaii, I’ve had a lot of homes – all of them breathtakingly beautiful at that too.
I grew up in the middle of the island of Oahu, in a town called Mililani. It was small enough to say that my parents knew my friends’ parents and most likely grew up with them too. I loved living in Hawaii, always being able to see my family, only being a 30 min drive away from the world’s best beaches, but I couldn’t wait to leave. I dreamt of moving to New York City and traveling the world. I probably wanted this because I knew that Hawaii was just a small island where everyone knew everyone and no one made it very far. When it was time to apply for college, I didn’t even consider schools in Hawaii.
Portland was my next home. I lived in Portland and attended LC for 4 years and I absolutely loved living on the hill. Sure, it took me a while to get used to, especially all of the rain and the “cold” 50 degree weather, but I miss living there everyday. I feel like I didn’t take advantage of everything that Portland had to offer me. I loved being downtown, but I didn’t spend nearly enough time there. I loved my school, but I really only got involved in things I enjoyed during my last two years. There were so many hikes and outdoorsy things I wanted to do, so I’ll have to go back one day. I think my favorite part of living in Portland was the family that I got to connect with and build relationships with. I wouldn’t have gotten so close to them if I didn’t live in Portland.
Next was my semester abroad in Siena, Italy. I only lived there for 4 months but it definitely still counts. Being away from my family, friends, and being even further away from Andrew was tough, but living in Siena took my breath away every single day. From learning a new language, gaining a new family, and traveling every weekend, I wish I could have lived there longer.
This picture was from my daily walks to and from school… That tower was in Piazza del Campo, the main square in Siena. My favorite part of this view were all the green shutters on the windows, and walking on the cobblestoned ground to and from everywhere I went. ***I’ll probably have future posts about living in Siena and all the great food I ate while living there***
After 4 years of being in a long distance relationship, I am finally at home in Indianapolis with my boyfriend Andrew. You’d think that everything would be smooth sailing now that we’ve conquered the difficulties of long distance, but think again. Merging two separate lives into one, becoming selfless for your best friend is another challenge within itself. His life is here, and I’m slowly learning to build a life for myself here as well.
I know that Indy won’t be my last home. But moving around has definitely taught me that “home” is where you build it. Many say that home is where the heart is, but my heart has been in many different places at once, from being in a long distance relationship to missing my family while I’m away at school and to missing all the friends I’ve made along the way.
Cheers to building a new home, wherever it may be.