Again I sit here in Thailand, at home in Rayong surrounded by our things and the comfort of our own beds. For the summer break we were able to return to the USA to see our families and friends for a month. I had anticipated the visit for a long while and, within the blink of an eye it seems, time flew by and we were back on planes in route for Thailand for one last year. Each week in the states was carefully planned and crafted in a way that we could see and do all we could in a short amount of time. It was an enjoyable and intense visit. We allocated one week for my family, one week for my wife’s family, a week to visit friends and family in Atlanta, and a final week divided between families to say our goodbyes. It was go-go-go the entire time! I am so thankful for the people that support and love us and we were lucky to see so many of them in a short time. I wish we would have had time to see many more people.
Upon arriving back in the states, my initial feelings were clouded with jet-lag and anxiety anticipating the intensity of the pace of life in the USA compared to what we had been experiencing the past year. The familiar sound of English language spoken everywhere was refreshing. We of course made sure to visit all of the favorite food spots and to walk down memory lane by tracing our old routes. We indulged in good wine, craft beers, burgers, pizza, great Mexican food (Tacos and Tequila), southern BBQ, fine dining, and soul food. We had wonderful bonding time with our families and countless friends. Past coworkers set aside their time to meet up and take a moment to catch up. We were reminded of the traffic and gridlock that happens in big cities like Atlanta. We even had our first two AirBNB experiences which were quite bizarre. The USA is expensive! WOW. I knew this but it was painfully obvious now, after living in a place where you can stretch your income fairly easily. We saw tiny southern towns, beautifully manicured gardens, classic dive bars, Antebellum mansions, hip and trendy urban developments, and we gazed off the back porches of our parents homes. This trip was refreshing (yet exhausting at times) and medicine for my soul. It’s important to know and remember where you come from and dream of where you’ll go. “Home” is a heavy word. So now begins another chapter in our Thai experience.