I never thought I’d say this, because I felt alien for a long time. The language was different, so I didn’t understand. The sun shone brightly, but I only knew rain. The music was made for dancing, but I had no idea how. There was just one highway, but no bicycle lanes. It made me feel lost.
I never thought I’d say this, because I don’t know how or when it happened, but the people around me started to sound familiar. Watching the sun rise over the mountains became an early morning joy, as watching it set in the ocean became an evening ritual. The music now played from radio channels installed as favorites in my car. I knew where I was, where I wanted to go, and how to get there.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss driving south from the airport, like I did countless times, seeing the skies clear up while I pass by old cars that drive dangerously slow, faded by the sun, wipers missing. I miss passing by the place I used to live, wanted to live, thought I was gonna live, and the places where friends still lived or had lived. Because many came and went, like I eventually did. I miss taking that one roundabout the wrong way, after I gained the courage to do so, because it was faster that way and I finally got convinced the road was quiet enough to do so. I miss driving up into the mountains, being amazed, every single time, by that oasis-like view of a lake below and a golf course ahead, the immense field of green that was my back yard. I miss slowing down for all the speed bumps, curving my way through the park, enjoying the same views as I knew I’d have from my terrace, five minutes later, after parking the car in front of the house with its peach-colored walls.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss getting way too much wine at the supermarket after a day’s work from home. I miss that supermarket too, and the drive there, up and down through empty lands and golf courses, and beautiful houses scattered around, the beach close-by, bikers blocking the road while struggling their way up, and car drivers too careful to overtake them. I miss taking that wine to a beach even further south, a beach full of locals, no parking space, and only two beach bars. I miss the hassle to get there, having to drive the wrong way for ten minutes and make a u-turn somewhere, knowing it’s worth it regardless, because there’s an English guy called Bob singing at this beach on Sundays, and he sings ‘Perfect Day’ more beautifully than Lou Reed.
I never thought I’d say this, but I guess it’s true about how one misses the ordinary things most. The sound of lawn mowers in the morning. The gardener watering the plants. The stray cat on the window sill. The aloe vera trees that suddenly grow tall on the side of the road. The shabby beach bar. The midday heat during my walk to Spanish class. The bridge crossing the main road. The wait at the post office. The views of the ocean everywhere. The familiar restaurants. The glass of wine on a rooftop bar’s terrace. The friendly nod of the guard at the park’s entrance. The live music and sparkling evening lights from the hotel.
I never thought I’d say this, but you became home. And now that you’re not my home anymore, now that I’m in a new place that I need to call home, I miss you more than I ever expected.
I moved from Gran Canaria to Málaga, which has caused me to fall behind on my Happiness Project. Now, in the midst of settling here, I’m ready to pick it back up — that is, in a slightly changed format I don’t know the looks of yet. Writings like these will probably become a part of it though. I hope you’ll like it and feel free to share your own Happiness stories and homesickness experiences in the comments or in a DM on Instagram.