"I'm not going home. Not really."
I remember opening up my first Harry Potter book in the backseat of the Corsica, after making my parents drive me to Barnes & Noble just so I could get the book every person in the universe was talking about. I was admittedly skeptical (because I liked to be overly original...a budding hipster even then), but I can still remember the feeling I had reading the first chapter in the car—it was like a whole new world had opened up just for me.
Harry Potter is my first and most beloved fandom. Never before had I fallen into a universe that taught me more about my own humanity than the world of Hogwarts, house elves, and expecto patronum. I feel so lucky to have grown up with these books—with the sleepless nights and midnight releases, and a shared love of the stories to connect me to some of my closest friends. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that these books ultimately had a hand in changing my life.
Walking into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios was like a coming home I didn’t know I had been missing. To go on that adventure with my best friend just made it even better. I don’t go on a lot of vacations but this one has to be the best. Not because of the rides, the food, or the weather, but because of fulfilling sense of place, of worlds colliding.
Some people say adults who are still in love with the Harry Potter books need to "grow up" and still others refuse to read them because they were "for kids." To them I say, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you refuse to allow that joy into your life. You can go on pretending you don't wish you could escape once in awhile—I'll just be over here flying broomsticks and learning about caring for magical creatures while sipping butterbeer. Because I will unconditionally love Harry Potter until the day I die. Always.⚡