It was summer, almost thirty years ago. I must have been seven or eight. I was playing football in the garden when I saw the neighbors carry large bags and suitcases out of the house and into their car. She carried a big hat, he had stylish sunglasses on, the little boy had a stack of comic books under his little arm. They waved at me, got in their car and drove out of my life for the next three weeks. I sat down on the grass and forgot all about the ball and the fantasy league I had been playing in my head all year long and I thought of what it would feel like to travel. To head into the world, far away from the little village I called my home. Drive across borders, through cities and deserts. Move day and night, sleep in unknown beds. Talk to people whose names I don’t know and whose lives I don’t understand. See places that are too fantastic to imagine. Travel until I forget all about this. The little garden, the ball, the fantasy league, my home. Because only after you have lost it can you be certain that there is a home for you.
My mother yelled from the garage door. Lunch was ready. And I got up, kicked the ball and scored the most beautiful goal ever. That year I won the fantasy league.