Lake Tahoe, California
As I write, it has been three weeks since I stepped on the plane to bring me back home. The strangest part of being home is how eerily it feels like I never went anywhere… how those whole five months of traveling and adventure where just some strangely vivid dream. However, I have 4,000 pictures, two journals, 33 blog posts, and a plethora of new worldwide friends to remind me that my time in South America was in fact a reality.
Overall, it has been really good to be home. My first few days back in the States I caught myself getting excited every time I heard someone speaking English around me or making sure I was speaking slow and clear when I spoke English, until I realized that everyone speaks English around me. I would get a little anxious about ordering or asking a question to a stranger because I kept thinking I would have to speak in Spanish, until I remembered that hey, I don’t have to! But then all those new revelations and re-adjustments has turned into missing speaking Spanish, and utilizing a new-found ability to communicate and understand in another language. I have found immense satisfaction in the superficial comforts such as a full pantry, a comfy couch, my own computer, having a cell phone, and a dresser full of too many clothes. But, in turn, I miss the freedom of simplicity of possessions, making dinner with whoever is around in the hostel that night, and exploring a new place everyday.
Lucky for me, I live in a beautiful mountain area with epic winter wonderland activities. So taking full advantage of that, I have gotten a job as a lift operator at a ski resort, enjoyed gazing out at the white bliss of a blizzard (also with the knowledge that I would have to spend a good amount of time shoveling as a result of our feet of fresh powder), and spend a good amount of time snow-shoeing in the woods. I have been able to see some wonderful friends, and talk to others on the phone who I have not been able to see yet. I have unpacked my boxes, started reading some good books, and pretty much take a break from moving around and traveling. It’s been so nice to be in one place for a while.
I loved my time traveling. I loved the adventure, the new sights, the amazing people, and the incredible experiences. I miss the clarity I felt about seeing God, my calling, and learning more about myself and others everyday. And yet, I continually dreamt during my travels about having a garden, investing in a community, rekindling good friendships, and dwelling in the local while appreciating the global. And now, I get to practice those dreams and start to build upon them once more. It was nice to take a pause for an adventure and step out into the global community for a period to learn, gain perspective, and pretty much have a blast, but I am excited to be back to my roots, and investing in my world around me, trying to leave it a little bit better everyday.