Three and a half week seemed to be plenty of time for my research in and exploration of Bozeman. But like always, time was not enough. There are still things I have on my to-do list, which only means that I have to come back. When I arrived in Bozeman so long ago, I had no clue that I would cry so hard when the time for leaving had come. I got attached to Bozeman and it’s wonderful people so much quicker and so much deeper than I had ever expected.
When my time in Bozeman came to an end, I had the feeling that my journey was over and I was going home. I had come to Bozeman and I had seen the place my great-great-grandfather had lived at 135 years ago. It seemed like my mission was over. And I was emotionally exhausted. However, there were still three and a half months ahead of me – the majority of my journey. I did think about skipping it all and staying in Bozeman, I admit it!
I also thought about why I felt so home in Bozeman, and I thought about the factors that make the difference between a destination we visit and a place we live.
One of the major factors is the routine – do we visit exciting tourism highlights every day or do we have a routine? For me, my routine was the research at the Gallatin History Museum, where I went very often and even got my coffee in the staff’s kitchen. The other routine activity (even though I only went twice) was the Bozeman Ultimate Frisbee summer league which I joined and which felt like my weekly trainings back home.
Another major factor are the people we hang out with: are those just the other travellers in the hostels we stay in or are we connection to the locals (I mean, really?)? I not only had the most wonderful host family which hosted me for the entire time (!), but also quickly connected to various people of Bozeman!
Knowing your way around
I am usually very quick in orientating in a new city, but the extent to which I knew Bozeman at the end felt like I had lived there for a while – this also added to my feeling of home for Bozeman.
I don’t think that I can yet grasph the significance of my time in Bozeman for this journey or my life, but I believe it will be grand.