I’m back in the states.
Slowly recovering from culture shock upon landing, and I have to say, I landed rather gently.
Leaving Bali and spending close to 72 hours on planes, buses, taxi’s and walking with a 40+ pound pack, I finally touched down at LAX. Which brought a huge sigh of relief, and gasp of anxiety.
As the rubber tires of the plane skidded to a slow crawl on the runway, the sigh of relief for being back in the country that my passport claims as home, the continent that is home to my family, roads that are wide enough for two cars, flushing toilets and showers which stay consistently hot (or cold).
And yet, a bit of a gasp of anxiety, knowing I really didn’t have a ‘home’ to go home to. A car to get to wherever I wanted (or needed to go), no job to ‘welcome’ me back to 1st world existence and only a backpack worth of possessions.
Facing immigration and customs to come back into the US, I was excited to get a ‘Welcome HOME!” you know, with signs and banners and confetti and maybe a cake… but alas, Homeland security apparently doesn’t have the budget for a welcome home party. (Although wouldn’t it be awesome if they did?!)
Landing was gentle.
Although renting a car in Los Angeles was mired with drama and sorta problematic, the drive up the 101 into the Redwoods was. totally. Awesome. Ended up camping out there (and away from the chaos of the cities) for five days before heading into Portland for a night then continuing into Seattle to return the car, do laundry, and have my first home-cooked meal (on US soil) in over five months.
Then there is the culture shock. Everything is soooo big, and just the sheer space of everything is almost frightening. Grocery stores are now a labyrinth of choices, and just the energy of America is aggressive and completely assaulting. For the past four months, I have been spoiled with open air markets, entire towns which take up no more than 3 city blocks and the complete love of hosting countries which have so much honor, respect and reverence for the people around them, America seems like a first-degree asshole in comparison. They might be third-world countries, but they have first class citizens, which is way more than what I can say from the observations after being back.
Anyway, that almost brings us all up to date on the Adventures.
Over the next couple weeks I will be attending and participating in a Vipasssana meditation course (you can read more about it here: http://www.dhamma.org/en/vipassana.shtml) and am honestly looking forward to the silence, and alone time.
Next week, for the first time in over 6 months, I will be in complete silence and alone with my thoughts. No music, no writing, no phone calls, text messages or facebook.
It. will. be. Awesome.