There’s no place like the reservoir

This is the reservoir, which, fortunately for me, is only about a ten-minute walk from my house:

So far, it’s one of my favorite parts of Liberec. It’s a great place to run, to sit out and chill with a book, a beer, or some friends, and I have fantasies about skating there once the water freezes over, although I hear that they eventually close it — what a waste! Plus, whenever I’m there I can live vicariously through all the people with their dogs and maybe miss mine a bit less . . . or more, but either way.

What is it about this place for me, though? It’s a pretty little lake, surrounded by walking trails and people out enjoying nature and their surroundings. It’s a good place to see colors and contrasts, especially now that the leaves are beginning to take on their fall hues. It’s clean, it’s bright, everyone’s in a good mood. But I realized that there’s something else — I haven’t found another place outside of the US where I feel more at home.

Now, I’ve been leaving completely by choice for years now, beginning with college in Chicago, and I wouldn’t have it other way. I like the challenge. I fear the complacency that comes with staying in a place that’s too comfortable, like home. I found a place I loved in Prague three years ago, and since I’ve been back in the country, I haven’t gone a day without being excited to be here. But even so, and even for a traveler, there’s something about the feeling at home.

The reservoir is like the Eno parks, with the dogs swimming and all the trees, like the Duke trail where I’ve walked a thousand times, even like the Lakefill at Northwestern, with the colors of the water and the sky and the trees all coming together. The Lakefill was honestly one of the things that convinced me to go to NU (I wasn’t thinking about the long winter months when it’s not quite so enticing . . . maybe I’ll run into the same issue here), and I was very pleased to find that there are even a ton of huge, gross fish at the end where the dam itself is, just like the Lakefill. I spent a lot of time just looking down at those fish . . .

What I’m trying to say, though, is that even if I’ve never been a person to get too homesick, it’s nice to have a piece of home to run off to whenever I feel like I need it, you know? There’s something about being in a place where you can immediately feel so comfortable. Even if it leaves me wanting a puppy. That’ll come next, I’m sure.

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