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Published: June 10th 2017
Geo: 44.9653, -69.1086
I am home. Home: all the images and comforts that word conjures! After almost four months of constant international travel (there was a break for December) I left Delhi, India one morning at 11AM and by 8PM that evening was in Boston, back in the USA. 17 hours of flight time, 4 good movies, 2 Sherlock Holmes 21st century BBC productions, lots of interesting British Airways food, what felt like miles of walking through both the Delhi and Heathrow airports, saying "Happy Holi" (in India) at least a million times, saying "Happy St. Patrick's Day" (in Boston) fewer times, gaining 9 1/2 hours (from India) from heading west around the globe, seeing my luggage appear among the first few on the baggage carousel, and upon exiting the inner airport seeing my husband and youngest daughter standing in line to welcome me back. Surprisingly, every connection went perfectly; the flights were both on time, even the baby that was in my same row on the plane slept most of the time. It was another of those very good days where nothing can go wrong; it was a perfect travel day (except for the Indian man sitting next to me on the first flight; he kept trying to turn off the movies I was watching).
So I am home. Mountains of mail and piles of laundry to face, overdue articles to write for "The American Homeopath", clients to schedule, students' work to read and grade, feet and feet of snow to remove from on top of my car, but I am not yet ready to relinquish the excitement and feel of travelling to the other side of the world; I am not yet ready to file away those memories and face what all needs to be done here. So I think I will be in a limbo-like space for awhile, figuring out what time it is in India, and what I'd still be doing there, right now, and waking up in the middle of the night trying to remember where I am. The miracle of flying is an amazing boon to travellers, but it does not allow for time needed for reintegration into one's former life. I will allow myself that time to adjust, and, probably after a few days or a week or so, I will be fully back here, home, with a storeload of new memories, many new (but mostly distant) friends, and the renewed desire to see where I want to travel next. But for now I am looking at my home with new eyes, wondering just why I need all this stuff, and how I can downsize so easily into living out of one piece of luggage and a backpack for months at a time. It is a mystery, but one I have become very well able to do.
Where should I go next? I've met my goal of reaching all 7 continents, but not nearly yet visiting 100 countries, so I think I need a trip that incorporates exploring several countries fairly close together. Or maybe I should go back to teaching in Thailand, or volunteering in Cambodia, or working at the Animal Aid Sanctuary in Udaipur in India, or applying to teach at Semester at Sea. I have itchy feet and already long to be on the road again, but for now I will just have to do the laundry.
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