Sunday, August 19, 2012

On Barcelona

Oh, the magic of the words "Your flight to Barcelona is now confirmed."

As my arrival date draws nearer, I keep thinking about how a friend once said that I choose to leave Barcelona every time I go, no doubt in response to my usual hysteric sadness. I was hurt by this and tried explaining that no, I don't choose, the circumstances choose for me, but even if this is partially true, I realized later on that yes, yes, I do choose to leave, even if I really don't want to. The choice is mine, but my hand is forced.

I choose to leave to keep my extended stays legal (and they always are), to follow through with commitments I have in Canada and with promises I made to visit other places. New Zealand will be a good example of the latter, and I have no doubt I will hate to board my flight from Barcelona in November, even if it means going on a great adventure.

Barcelona is home. Why? I feel in place there. I feel like I both blend in and stand out in the most optimal way. Over the course of six visits (about five months spent in town in total) I made the same number of close friends as in six years in Canada. It counts for something, when I know for a fact that if I get in trouble, any kind of trouble, in Barcelona, I have a long list of people to call who could help, and a short yet very assuring list of people to call who would do everything to help me immediately. I have that in Canada too, but I live here, my family is here, we have a home here, I speak the language perfectly and I spent the last six years here. Toronto is home. So is Barcelona.

The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that I need to work harder to turn this "if I could stay" into "I don't have to go".