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Published: September 24th 2008
Hi everybody who is still reading this blog. ☺ In the last several months since my last blog entry I have received a steady stream of comments from all sorts of folks asking how I am doing. It is always so cool to get comments. All of these comments also had in common one phrase: “I see it has been a long time since you have wrote.”
And that it has. A long time.
I am back in New York, New York, back in the US for the first time in almost eight months. With all of the traveling and moving around I have been doing since 2005, this is officially my longest period of time without returning to the US. During these eight months I visited 7 countries: Lithuania, France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, and South Africa, and transited through several more. I never spent more than one month sleeping in the same bed, and often found myself not sleeping in a bed at all.
Though I am still sifting through it all, and still trying to absorb all that I have experienced over the past several months, there is one observation I have about traveling and moving around. Each time I move on to a new place, I find myself identifying with and missing the previous place I was in. Whether I was changing countries or simply just changing rooms or living spaces, I always found that there was a part of me that was missing the space where I was just in, the space I was coming from. And I found myself, for example, referencing that previous place and in a way framing my experience of the new place in relation to this previous place……does this make sense? And this, I realized, was a way of claiming that space as home. In other words, if I was traveling from France to Lithuania, I was relating my moment to moment experience in Lithuania to my place and experience in France. Going from Lithuania to South Africa, my reference point became Lithuania. And then returning to Lithuania from South Africa, I found myself constantly referencing my experiences and living situations in South Africa.
This may be merely stating the obvious; it makes sense that I find myself becoming attached to the place I am in, the people I meet, the general living circumstances of that place. But what is interesting to me is that I find myself rarely comparing my immediate experience to life ‘back home’ in the US. It is as if my ‘home’ or my experience of home is wherever I am, or more specifically, wherever I just was. I wonder how it will feel returning home to Efland this time? Will I feel home? Will I find myself again referencing and comparing things to Kaunas, or to South Africa, or even to life sleeping on Bajir's couch in Brooklyn? Or will I just be home.
So I am back. I am back in the US, and back on the blog. I hope to, bit by bit, recount some stories and thoughts from the past several months in South Africa and Lithuania. I am realizing even as I write this entry how much I love writing, and how I miss not having written in so long. It helps me understand better my experiences, and also it is an excuse for me to sit and think/reflect.
BIGGEST SHOCK SINCE RETURNING TO THE US: a small ‘Frosty’ from Wendy’s now costs $1.40!!! When I left the U.S. in February, they were only 99 cents!!! Has everything gone up in price as Frosties have?
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