I’ve been living the expat life in London for four years now but my next trip to Boston is never far behind. Every four months I’m back in Beantown making the rounds visiting family & friends and some of my long running favorite dining establishments. I’m home often but my last visit surprised me deeply.
It’s a strange feeling when you realize you’re a tourist in the city you grew up in and used to know so well. I used to be the person to ask if someone was looking for recommendations around town. It hit me that I’m no longer so in tune with the rhythm of the city when I had to actually research where to get the best donuts (which it turns out is actually a 10 min drive outside of Boston at Union Square Donuts) or find tacos from somewhere other than Anna’s Taqueria. It’s not lost on me that things could be worse, my little support group of friends and family are still intact and I don’t need the CityMapper app to tell me how to get from A to B. I still have a place to call home but that complete feeling of belonging is missing. That feeling was only amplified by this WSJ article I read about the hardships of expats repatriating back home.
On the bright side, it is always fun to experience something different in the ever changing city of Boston and to see it in a new light. During my last visit, I was invited to the Boston Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Tower to get a glimpse of the city. I loved seeing the rows of Back Bay brownstones, a snow covered Charles River and Fenway Park calling out from its iconic green and red stadium. It was a great reminder that there is still so much to discover and seeing Boston in the eyes of a tourist might not be so bad.