Nate picked me up this afternoon and took me back to my house. After dropping my bags in my living room, I immediately took off my shoes and walked around my yard barefoot. It was amazing.
Even after the plane landed, I wasn't as excited as I thought I'd be about getting home. But as we drove through the Italian countryside toward base, my heart kept beating faster and faster. And as the mountains came into view, I couldn't stop smiling. And when I got in my truck to take a drive around Budoia, I let out a squeal of delight. It felt so strange and so comforting at the same time.
After some in-processing over the next couple days, I have two weeks off to relax, reorganise, and reintegrate before going back to work. It's going to be a full two weeks with a trip to England and visit from Jess, and I might go back to work more exhausted than when I got home; but it will totally be worth it.