They say there's no place like home and that home is where the heart is. Each time I come home to Boston, I'm reminded of how true both of those statements are. The Hub is quite the place, and I'm lucky enough to call it home. Here are some of the reasons why no matter how far those of us from Beantown wander, it will always be home:
1. The sports
The amount of enthusiasm that surrounds the Boston sports teams is unlike anything I've ever seen. The fans here are diehards, standing behind each team, every single season, regardless of any controversial issue that may arise. There is so much loyalty. The perfect example of this loyalty was Tom Brady's four game suspension this past fall and how the fans rallied around him and the Pats. Fans backed Brady 100%, embracing the classic slogans such as "Fire Goodell" and "Free Brady". Hearing those slogans in DC, far from Boston, served as a reminder to me that there truly is nothing like the hype and enthusiasm that surrounds Boston sports teams and no matter how far you go, you can't escape it. Despite the fact that Brady is free, I'll still here the words "Fire Goodell" every now and then. There is a similar passion felt in regard to the way fans embrace the Red Sox. It was evident how deeply fans felt when David Ortiz stepped off of the field for the last time this past October.
2. The road rage
Regardless of how much we complain about it, I've come to think it's actually really funny. Coming home and getting in my car and driving somewhere is never dull. I've never seen so much road rage or aggressive driving anywhere else, and I don't mind it at all anymore. With the destruction of the tolls on the Mass Pike, I had no idea what to expect in terms of the way people would handle that. The more things change, the more they stay the same. On major roads like the Pike, there's just as much, if not more beeping, swearing, and cutting other cars off if they're going too slow. This is a given if you're anywhere in Massachusetts, and I've come to embrace it at this point. There's no escaping it.
3. Dunkin' Donuts
Dunks or Dunkin. It's not the same anywhere else, it just tastes better here. I can't explain what the difference is, but it's so noticeable. I think it's safe to say New England runs on Dunkin. I never realized how much I relied on Dunkin coffee until I couldn't have it everyday anymore. I didn't realize how much I loved Dunkin until there wasn't one on every other street corner. The first thing I do when I land in Boston is go straight to the Dunkin in the airport and get my regular order. There's just something about the experience of going to a Dunkin in New England that is unlike going to a Dunkin anywhere else. It's an essential to almost every New Englander.
4. The city
Boston is a beautiful, historic, and exciting city. It's filled with historic sites, museums, and lots of character. There are a variety of different sections of the city to explore -- like the North End and Back Bay areas. It's not too difficult to navigate, and there is so much to do and see on any given day. Between the shops on Newbury Street and the delicious Italian food and pastry shops in the North End, there is always something to enjoy. Fenway Park and the Garden also serve as venues for concerts and events that serve as great destinations.
5. Boston pride
It seems as though everyone from Boston has at least one thing in common: we all love being from Boston. There is such a sense of great pride surrounding the roots that we have here. There are a variety or reasons for this feeling of pride, and it's pretty cool to step back and think about how that pride can unite so many people. I'm thankful to always have this place to come home to, as it truly will always be home to me.