Since World War II, we have been a nation that said we were a home for the outcast. It has been our identity in the world; it has been our beacon, a figurative idea made literal by the statue of Lady Liberty that stands roughly 5 miles from where I type this. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
10 Cities/10 Years was the scaffolding upon which I built my life; now I can stand without it.
These are my plans for 2017. Beyond that, who knows? Maybe I'll spend a year in Spain, maybe two, or three. Perhaps I'll follow it up with travels in Asia, South America, Africa. Maybe I'll never set foot in the United States again; just as plausible, I could return to New York in a couple years. I know only one thing at this moment: I want a life up in the air and out on the road.
We are going to remember 2016. We are going to remember it for what we lost. We are going to remember it for all that happened, and for all that we had hoped would happen, but did not. There will be times when the memories will come back to us in waves of pain and anger and utter dismay. We will not be able to forget.
In the months since we returned, the two of us have chatted often about how our time in Spain has stuck with us. Just last night, she texted me, "It's hard to put into words just how amazing it really was."
My home is where I rest my head at any given time, my home is any stop along I-70 or any town where a friend will share a drink with me. My home is the United States.