I miss the Romance of European cities. Maybe more than the cities themselves.
I miss Paris and Amsterdam and Berlin. I don’t miss them in the same way I miss London because they were never home.
I miss these other cities in a superficial way. I miss the foreign languages and the new food, the museums and the history. I miss Paris’ light in the winter and Amsterdam’s bicycles and Berlin’s pockmarked walls. I miss thrift stores that are cramped and old and full of unusual silhouettes. I miss the monuments.
I miss the way I felt, exploring new places, tasting stories. I even miss being annoyed at my parents in the way only traveling creates. I miss drinking champagne and eating artisanal truffles on my sixteenth birthday.
I miss walking ancient streets, noticing the sunlight in a new way. The light is different in every city.
I’m romanticizing; Paris is dirty and Amsterdam is sinking and Berlin is crumbling. But I drew and I walked and I wrote.
I miss the cities I see in photographs. In an intimate but distant way. It is not an ache, it’s only a twinge, but it runs through the roots I grew halfway across the globe.
The monuments,the light,the museums,the ancient streets,the creating,and the history.