I’m not sure if there’s anything worse than the feeling you have boarding a plane back home from a damn near perfect vacation.

Think about that for a second.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever vacationed in Europe or the Caribbean, woke up the morning of your flight back home and exclaimed, “FINALLY!”

Oh, you have? Here’s the door. Please leave my blog immediately.

Coming back to reality, no matter how lovely your reality is, is terrible to put it bluntly. My Christmas vacation was spent walking the streets of Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia amidst lights that twinkled and lit up the crisp, night air. It was spent taking walks and biking the Mount Vernon trail into Washington D.C. where we visited memorials and monuments. It was spent gawking at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout D.C. and staring at rows and rows of poinsettias at the Botanical Garden. Not to mention, my vacation was full of nights spent drinking. Kentucky Mules at Bar Deco, Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss at Biergartenhaus, Petit Verdot at Paradise Springs Winery.

To sum up my vacation in one word, I’d say it was perfect.

There’s something incredibly exciting about leaving where you’re from to go visit another place. Oftentimes, visits are very short. Maybe a couple of days. My visit was two weeks long, and for me, that’s about how long it takes for me to establish a routine. Long story short, the place I was simply vacationing in quickly began to feel like home.

I finally figured out how to operate the fancy fade-out lights in the kitchen, not to use the smaller bathroom, because for some reason, I can’t figure out how to flush it (sounds ridiculous, I know), and I was getting the hang of pressing the B2 button on the elevator instead of Floor 1 to get to the car.

I was figuring it out. Learning the ways of the new town I was in. I even found out where the good coffee is. I mean, that was obviously my first priority, but still a trial and error kind of task! Shout out to Sugar Shack and Misha’s, by the way. Your coffee rocks my caffeine-fueled world and the simple glazed donut wasn’t half bad either. Keep doing what you do.

I figured everything out, I felt settled, and then 3pm came around on Sunday, January 3, 2016, and it was time for me to zip my suitcase and leave for the airport.

Talk about feeling crushed.

I have a very eyes forward, chin up kind of mentality. Stay focused, I’d say to myself. Don’t feel down, it won’t last forever. That goodbye in Reagan International was the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to make. Standing in front of, yet another, beautiful Christmas tree on one of the prettiest days of the week, I had never felt so sad.

I don’t talk about emotions much, and I show them even less, but TSA got a hefty dose of Kaitlyn tears that day. As a matter of fact, the first thing I did when I boarded my flight to ATL was order red wine to just calm me down, because, to be honest, I wasn’t okay.

Last month, if you asked me where home was, I’d tell you New Orleans. I work here, I live here, my friends are here, and the man I love is here. It’s home. That’s what I’d say.

If you ask me today where home is, I’d say in apartment 1_06. The passenger’s seat of a blue Jetta. And, for now, Alexandria.

The feeling of New Orleans not feeling like home is surreal. I actually feel like this is the vacation, except I’m working at a job that I don’t particularly enjoy for forty hours each week. If this is the vacation, and if Alexandria is home, then the morning I wake up and board a plane back to Virginia, you bet I’ll be screaming, “FINALLY!”

With that being said, I’ll leave this blog immediately, as per my rule, but before I go, I feel compelled to express my love and gratitude for New Orleans and all it has to offer me. It’s not you, it’s me. You’ve been great. But I think I need to see other cities for awhile.

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