One of the delights of coming home is finding it oddly foreign. Like, people here speak this weird language that I can actually understand. So odd.
Even more jarring: waking up in the middle of the night and trying to remember where the bathroom is in this hostel ... only to realize, as I start to climb groggily out of bed, that I'm home. I'm still doing this nearly a week after my return.
It's great to be back in familiar territory and, most of all, to see my friends and family.
But it's also frustrating to be back because I was having such a wonderful time, and I felt like I had just begun to build some momentum of sociability and true adventurousness. I had unfinished business--things to do, places to see, people to meet, adventures to have, drinks to ... drink. Madrid was beautiful, cheap(-ish), warm, and full of interesting people. I wanted to stay and soak it all up.
And then, rather than coming home, I wanted to do the tour all over again. Sans Arthur--I no longer needed my quirky prop to make things interesting or to meet people. Oh, and maybe this time I'd add Greece and some islands and definitely Barcelona and, oh yeah, Nice and Prague and ... and ... and ...
Travel had become so easy by Madrid--well, not easy, exactly, but not stressful. Challenging, but enjoyably so, a constant parade of wonders and thrills.
My head is buzzing as I try to find the appropriate words without sounding obnoxiously giddy. But maybe that's all you need to know: my head is buzzing, energized by the memories of the trip, delighted and delirious at thoughts of where I'll go next.