This Summer has been a whirlwind!
We started the Summer in Hong Kong. We left during the first few weeks of the protests, July 1st. It was Malachi’s first time on an airplane and he did great. Teething, feverish and needed meds, but it kept him relatively calm for the 15+ hour flight (I also nursed A LOT).
This Summer we visited to Ohio and New York and then relocated to Turkey.
I moved to Columbus when I was 21 years young in October 2005. It was my first time in the state and I was too young to fully grasp the reality of the looming difficulties that would arise from relocating to a place ALONE where I didn’t know a soul, without a job, very little money and no car. I did manage to find a place to live before I moved; though I quickly learned it wasn’t the safest part of town. Without going into a long story, my first experience living in Columbus wasn’t the best and it left a lasting distaste for the city for years to come.
After meeting, dating and marrying David I knew Ohio would always be in my life. We lived there for just over a year. Moving a few months before we got married and leaving about 15 months later. For David, Columbus is nostalgic. Full of fond memories, amazing experiences and friendships. For me, living in Columbus was lonely and I found it really difficult to feel at home.
Once we moved away, coming back to visit Ohio never sparked excitement or joy in me, This year was different! I found myself really excited leading up to our trip back to the States. I’m not sure if it was because of our kids and the impending family/cousin time or, the fact that I was SO over living in Hong Kong. But this California girl is definitely growing to love Ohio.
We decided to split our time in Ohio between David’s hometown and Columbus. This Summer we focused on actually having a Summer Vacation. Usually our summers are catered around seeing family and working within their schedules. This year it was about our little family and I’m so happy we made that decision. We did more in two weeks than we did the last trip home when we spent 6 weeks in Ohio. Some of my family took the time to fly and drive into Ohio to visit us and it turned out to be such an amazing time.
The kids loved hanging out with their cousins from both families and had the chance to meet family members for the first time. Levi loves being in David’s hometown and was really bummed when it was time to leave Ohio. We wish they had more time hanging with family but that’s the reality of living abroad.
One thing I’ve known but really experienced this Summer: Columbus is a great place for families! There’s plenty to do and see and it’s not overly expensive. Whenever we discuss repatriation, Ohio is always the main location for that conversation. Usually, I struggle with the idea but this Summer I could really see the potential and enjoyment of living there in the future. Although the number one repatriation location on our list is always New York City!
Ohio wasn’t my first, second or third love, but It’s definitely growing on me and I’m learning to love it!