How long does it take for a place to become home?

Does it take a month? A year? A decade? Or does it happen the instant someone rolls down their car window to ask you for directions? Is it home after you’ve been to every coffee shop in a ten mile radius, or is it only possible after you come back from a vacation and recognize the smell of your own walls?

 How long does it take for a place to become home?

 I don’t know the answer. But I do know that Burlington became mine.

 After approximately four years, 1.33 summers, twelve strangers asking for directions, numerous visits to coffee shops around town, and the fragrance of each and every one of my residences thoroughly engrained in my head, it is my home. And now I have to go.

With 48 hours left here, my head is spinning. What happens to home after you leave? It still exists. The coffee shops. The car windows rolling down. The walls. After I’ve considered an entire city a part of my being, where will I be once I pack up my Honda and disappear over state lines?

Home is not static. It moves and flows and alters itself. It makes room. Home stretches as friends and family disperse across the globe. Home exists in restaurant tables and park benches and computer labs. It exists in words and smells and sounds. It exists in memories.

My Burlington home has given me so much. It has provided me with an education. An education filled with professors and homework as well as broken hearts, life lessons, and the odd miracle or two. This home has given me stories. From the mud fights to the hurricane birthdays to each and every shitty basement party, these stories simply reek of home. And of friends. This city has given me friends that will not be lost as I move on. These friends are making their own homes, but they will not forget this one. Burlington was home to each and every one of them. It was our commonplace, our stomping grounds. It will always be full of memories. That bar. That curb. That fire escape. You know the one.

 I don’t know that there will come a point where I won’t be able to tell you the streets, the buildings, the coffeeshops. But it will come with me too.

Home is not static. It moves with you, adds to you. It becomes part of you.

In 48 hours, I will pack up my Honda and disappear over state lines. I will pass the coffee shops, the bars, the school. I will leave behind the fire escape. The Whale Tails. The walls. I will pass through the mountains I love so much.

But Burlington,

Burlington will always be home.



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