Thursday, June 3, 2010

The mark some places leave

Busy week, my friends. This week kicks off the summer travel schedule for me, which is going to be taking me out of town a lot. I am back in postdoc city for a workshop that has been non-stop since I got here. It's been almost two years since I've been here and not much has changed - a few shops and restaurants have closed or been reinvented, but nothing compared with the changes that I have gone through. In some ways it is centering to be back and in others disorienting.

It's odd being back as a visitor in a place where so much happened in my life when I lived here. I've met up with many friends, both academic and otherwise, who I haven't seen since leaving. This morning I walked by the hospital where my daughter was born. Tomorrow I will be spending some time in the lab of my postdoc advisor in between running a few local errands to pick some items up to bring home. I didn't expect it to feel quite like it has turned out being back, but I'm not sure what I expected.

I do miss this place. I miss the city, the people, hell, I miss this country where I lived for so long. But such is the nature of the transient academic life, where multiple stops all over the world is not unusual for many of us. I know when I mentioned before that postdocs should embrace the opportunity to travel and live in new places, some got a little bent out of shape over the idea. To each their own, I suppose, but I know that my experience and my life were enriched by being here and this place will always be one I consider a home.

3 comments:

  1. Nice post! Made me feel a little blue.

    I also read the older post about doing postdoc in a setting very different than one's usual choices, such as abroad. Considering that you were merely suggesting it may be a nice idea if you are mobile enough, I am surprised by how negative some comments were...

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  2. Funnily enough, I had a very vivid dream last night about being back in Glasgow, where I did my PhD. I woke up happy at having "spent time" with such good friends in a place I loved living in. Not quite the same as your experience, obviously, but I've been feeling some bittersweet nostalgia for the place all day!

    Enjoy the rest of your stay, and the rest of your summer travel!

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  3. I can so relate to this! Last autumn I visited my PhD city (in another country) and it just felt so very right to be there. I suppose it will always feel like home. But on the other hand it was also very different, because all my PhD peeps are now gone from there, move away to many places around the globe.

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