I’ve been silent here a long time. For a while I was uncertain what to write. Then, I was demotivated because I couldn’t tell you the full truth — including some major reasons we returned to the States — mainly because Brian didn’t want me to. You see, he was hospitalized in Thailand and if there’s one thing guaranteed to freak a wife out, it’s seeing her big, strong hubby laid out on a gurney. Luckily, all is well and his care there was both extraordinary and affordable. But I digress… The opportunity for closure, at least on this chapter of our lives, has come.
Brian and I will be returning home, to California’s Bay Area, in the next month. We’re starting with a road trip around the East Coast to see some friends and family, and then we’re heading cross-country to our new home. Along the way, we’ll be visiting some places I’ve never been before, like New Orleans, West Texas, Wyoming and Salt Lake City. A perfect opportunity, I think, to share and close out our traveling lifestyle of more than a year.
There are many things I haven’t shared and still want to, like loving on baby elephants in Thailand. I will try to fit those in as we travel the States. Because, by the time we get home, I’d like to have a completed blog book that I can print out and put on our coffee table as a reminder of all the fun we’ve had and lessons we’ve learned. Both are considerable.
So, back to my blog title, You can’t go home again…or can you? When we returned to the States, I was amazed at how different everything felt. My reassimilation occurred quickly, however, as I went from a gal who never wore makeup while traveling to one who needed mascara and concealer to leave the house. I still occasionally notice that the $15 I spend on dinner these days could have fed me for a week in Ghana, but I succumb to local standards anyway.
My biggest surprise here in Jacksonville is that my plans to reconnect with my cousins didn’t transpire. I had dreams of spending time at the beach, going to dinner often, becoming better friends with all of them now that we’re adults. What I have realized is that they all have their own lives and, because I haven’t lived here since infancy, I don’t fit. Of my many cousins in town, we only saw one more than occasionally and I think that was his wife’s doing, really. But it was nice.
Then, we flew out to California. As our plane descended into SFO, my heart soared and my nerves churned. It felt like home, like we were finally back where we belonged. As we went about our week in town, we saw several friends and our relationships generally fit right back into place as if we hadn’t been gone 16 months.
Which made me realize that Florida was never home. It was just one more stop on our trip, and a nice opportunity to reconnect with my mom and see some family. California is home. It’s time to go back.