I think I am finally ready, it is time. I haven't been home to America in about 2 and half years and I thought I would never need to go home, because its not really home anymore; I feel I am "home" everywhere I live, even though it may be only temporary. I hate how we have to identify as one certain nationality, put ourselves into these imaginary lines and live the the way everyone else does. The term 'citizen of the world' may sound cheesy, but I feel most at home when I am exploring a place I have never been before and getting to know the people more personally.
But alas, even though I have fought it for so long, I need a break. I need a little intermission from Asia, from being abroad, from the frustrations. It's time to remember why I moved away again, time to take a step back and get out of the bizarre madness that has become my life. I am scared, really excited, anxious and a thousand other emotions when I think about how I will be on American soil again in practically a month.
I like to do things on a whim, a trait I inherited from my mom, it keeps life exciting and I always have something to look forward to. So last minute we decided to buy tickets to go home for 2 months and try to remember how to live in a western, civilized culture again. If you have been following me on my adventure through Asia, you know I am pretty Asian by now, I eat rice for every meal, take off my shoes when entering most places and have songs on my iPod that I can't understand.
Yet even though I may feel comfortable here in Asia, there are many things I am looking forward to about going home and I will always be a product of my upbringing. Knowing what is on the menu at a restaurant, warm clothes straight from the dryer, not having to look at a map, not worrying about a visa to stay there, no humidity hanging in the air all day. It's going to be surreal and it's probably going to be exactly the same, but I'll be experiencing it from a different perspective.
I am scared about going back to the US. We have both changed so much and grown up in the past few years. Will I like it more, will it be better than I remember? Or maybe I will hate it just as much and then my back up of places to live will be crossed off the list. What if "The Walking Dead" is really how America is now and I'll be dodging zombies just to stay alive. I could even decide I need Chipotle burritos in my life so much that I will never leave. I don't know what to expect, I don't know how I will feel when I am there and that makes me most nervous about going back. Even though it's just a visit, I think about these things too much...
Since I make Thai baht, and haven't saved as much of it as I should, I will be on a very strict budget while in my home country, a notoriously expensive place to travel and live. I have decided to make a little game out of it because I have no choice, and I really do think I can do it! I will be living on 23 dollars a day while in America. I sure will miss the option to buy a whole meal for just a dollar and really the point of this trip is to help me realize how good I have it here in Thailand.
I will be staying with friends and family the whole time, camping or couch surfing when traveling around, eating from the grocery store mostly (but I am SO excited about going to an American grocery store so it will be perfect!) and trying my hardest not to go to Target. That place is like my kryptonite.
People keep saying it's not possible, that things are going to be more than I remember and I won't be able to do it. I am a different person than I was when I left, more determined, more focused, with a little more self control when it comes to shopping, and a lot less concerned with fitting in. I am not like everyone else, I don't have a fancy iPhone, I don't wear designer clothes and I don't need a bunch of stuff weighing me down so I can't move.
Don't get me wrong, I still have a lot of "things" here in Thailand, it is every much as materialistic as America, but I am so much happier with less now. Just seeing my friends, sitting on their couch and talking all night will be enough. I don't need fabulous nights out, I just want to drink cheap wine and bundle up in a big scarf. Vacationing in America, what a novel idea. My bet is I won't be able to get back to Thailand fast enough!