Another flight back to Boise. I’ve lost count of the times I left my house so happy with the prospect of spending some days with my family and friends in the Basque Country, and how hard it is to get on that plane in Loiu, that same amount of times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see my kids and my friends in Boise, but going back gets harder and harder every time.
It’s difficult to explain the feeling. On the one hand, after 14 years living abroad one develops numerous ties and a lifestyle according to the place you made your home. You also grow and learn in ways you didn’t know you could, had you never moved away. On the other hand, those years abroad make you homesick and more proud of your origins the longer you live away.
I always had a fascination with anything foreign. When my friends from ikastola were learning Basque, taking Basque dancing classes, and listening to Negu Gorriak, I played “the Boss” non-stop and studied English Philology at the university. I dreamed of living abroad. I didn’t much care where, just not in Euskadi.
The first years in the US were such a learning experience it didn’t leave much room for anything else. Of course, I never stopped missing my family and friends, that’s a given, but I didn’t miss much more. Once my kids were born though, that’s another story. That Basque pride slowly started to come out until it surfaced in full force shortly after Andoni started at Boiseko Ikastola. Then, it just kept getting stronger. There was no way my kids were growing up without fully knowing where they come from on their mom’s side. It’s kind of ironic that the people responsible for the awaking of this pride and the desire to move back are also the reason why I can’t. Which is totally fine. They are Basque-Americans and (I’m going to be bias here), what better place for them to grow up than Boise?
So little by little I have moved away from that foreign fascination and started thinking Basque – dancing, language, culture, and people. I know I am in Boise for the long run, and I know I will be happy there, but I still tried to see how Zarautz or Plentzia would work for me, even though I already knew they don’t have all I want in a place. Truth be told, I don’t know if that place I’m looking for exists anywhere.
Bile nabil. Bile-bile nabil…