I made it home safe and sound after 13 months in Asia. I had an awesome year, and I'm also very happy to be back in Seattle. Here's something I wrote about a month ago when I first got to Thailand, as I was enjoying my travels but dreaming of home:
(Written Thursday March 10)
It's a tropical paradise of white beaches, torquoise water, soft sand, colorful fish, luscious fruit. Almost sterile in its beauty- too bright, too clean. And I don't want it any more. I want slate-green ocean and grey skies, beaches so rocky and rocks so barnacled you must wear sandals to swim. Messy, slimy waterfront of kelp and bladder-rack. Purple starfish the most vibrant animal underwater. Boring, boring, comfortingly boring clear jellyfish. Kale and carrots and local berries. Blackberries so abundant and invasive you can't sell them. Apples, delicious but unpretentious. These are our fruits. Salmon, caught and smoked by a family member. Cold water that I hold dear. Crisp, austere Cascades. Aloof Olympics. Rain that you can walk in but not swim in. Kids who eye me cautiously because I'm a stranger but not a foreigner. I want to complain about the lack of sun, not nurse a sunburn. I want to wear that old hat I've had for too long, and the knit scarf that is all stretched out. Cowgirl boots and rubber boots. Trade instant coffee for something organic, locally-roasted, and snobbily-brewed. Trade mango lassi for yerba mate. A chance to make my mom laugh, one of my favorite things. A chance for my friends to make me laugh.