Recently, like many other CU students, my material life configured itself into an assembly of boxes. Hair dryers, TVs, winter clothing, old text books and photo frames complied themselves upon one another in a real-life game of tetris so as to be transferred from one place to another. Last August, however, unlike many CU students, my boxes of silverware and blankets went from an apartment into a storage unit. All that remained with me was one giant suitcase, which housed all the things I would need to travel abroad for a Semester. Since my return in January, I subletted one place in the spring semester and another place for the summer, really bringing with me not much more than what was in my suitcase. I slept in strangers bed's and filled their shelves with a few pictures and my alarm clock (to which I am strangely attached!), occupying their space while they were abroad. I met new people and found new quirks in different houses while sampling a few different neighborhoods in Boulder. It was a conevnient system- moving 3 times in one year wasn't chore. My suitcase liberated me from hours of strategically packing and from the daunting task of loading U-Hauls and carrying giant couches up a labyrinth of stairs. That is, until now.
Starting August 1st, I moved to a new place just east of campus that will, for next year and hopefully longer, be my home. I can now come home to my apartment, unlock my door, sit on my couch with my computer plugged into my outlet as my lamp casts light in the room. Living with a roommate who also spent a semester abroad, our apartment is freckled with hints of our travels, unearthing a feeling that I haven't really felt in a while: the feeling of being home.
While the life of a quasi-vagabond certainly intoxicated me- seeing new things, meeting new people, trying new activities, eating new foods- I must admit that I am ready to be settled. And what better place to be settled again than in the shadows of the Flatirons? With throngs of students floating down the Boulder Creek, with street performers seamlessly melting into the backdrop of hole-in-the-wall restaraunts and botiques on Pearl Street, and with a small congregation of yoga-masters bending into bizarre positions in Scott Carpenter Park, Boulder's pecularities are what make it stand out. It's idiosyncratic nature draws students semester after semester, lures travelers into permanently extending their vacations, and transforms many from students to residents. It is a place to establish roots, a place that, no matter where you've been, how long you've been gone, and what you've seen, will always welcome you. It is a place that many, myself included, can call home.