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Young Blood

Coming home

05:05 AM April 17, 2018

In every trip I have taken, the best part for me is coming home. It is settling in familiar comfort after a long, strenuous journey that my feet have endured, the rest I had been yearning for to pause and ponder how great a woman I am to survive a twist of adventures unboxed beyond my own little world. Outside is a big universe to discover, and I’m just one of the littlest stars interweaving with other strangers in the galaxy.

I love traveling and taking risks. I also have a long bucket list of famous places to visit. But home is underrated. Home is like a prayer, a poem, a reverie. Unlike mainstream destinations, home gives me the unique experience that others won’t. There’s nothing like the warmth of my room, the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the kitchen, and the best sinangag—fried rice — that Auntie prepares in the morning.

It is when you come home that you appreciate the simple things you missed while you were gone. A thousand miles away, I would miss the company of my loved ones and the sound of their laughter. I would marvel at buildings towering over my head, but the scene would suddenly remind me of the distance between me and my family.

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Traveling makes me realize that home is really irreplaceable. Our home would not pass the quality standards of a luxury hotel, but it feels more tranquil and intimate. It has a peculiar charm that is both quaint and fancy. Within a small space, I have everything I love: books, plants, dogs, a piano, a tent.

Home adapts to my wants. I can bake cookies at 2 a.m., design my bedroom in sync with my character, and find peace in the harmony of my music box.

Home is a place to revisit. Isn’t it nice to look at the old photos in the albums on the dusty bookshelf, and to recall the best memories you hope to treasure for a lifetime?

Home is a labor of love. It holds untold but precious, real-life stories that we have crafted through time. It is a creation of what’s in our hearts, the beholder of our dreams.

Home is always waiting for us, no matter how far we wander and how many steps we take away from it.

I’ll always be fascinated with places other than home — the city and its lights, the seas and mountains, witnessing other cultures, making new friends, the feel of the wind on my skin, the falling of leaves from a tree. I’ll always be thrilled by first times, but I’ll forever be sentimental. I’ll always choose home, where I can be myself the most, which accepts me at my worst, my go-to spot when I’m feeling weary and burdened. I will love and take care of all its facets, every quirk and novelty that it contains, and I will always take pride in it, because it is a reflection of me.

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Juna Alyanna Grimaldo, 23, who works as a research specialist in a snack food company, says her life “revolves around food, travel, and meditation.”

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TAGS: coming home, Juna Alyanna Grimaldo, traveling, Young Blood
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