Saturday, March 17, 2007

One Year PT I: Reflections and Revelations

When I say that we've been home for about a year, I always feel shocked. It's so strange that the passage of a year can go so fast. Traveling, time went slower – but it didn't feel slow, it felt right. It felt like a lifetime, but in a good way. And now that I'm home, and I'm back to the "real world' of my life, things are fast... and consequently short. One year here is the equivalent to a few months on the road. It's still hard to get used to.

Since coming home, Benjamin and I have looked upon the calendar in a whole new light. Instead of seeing 'June', we saw 'our second month in China', and instead of seeing 'March', we see 'the last month of our trip'. And in this way, the trip has lived on and on, long after the official end, when we boarded a plane on April 5 (2006) from Bangkok to LA. I like this, the unexpected continuation of the grand adventure – the fact that we can place ourselves somewhere else 'a year ago' means that we can live vicariously through those experiences in some remote way... a bit like living in the past I suppose, but sometimes that's not a bad thing.

So here we are, on the brink of the year anniversary of our return home. From this point on, we can't say refer to an amazing foreign experience of the year before, but one from home... and unfortunately, those experiences seem so mundane in comparison. I feel like this is REALLY the end of our trip. It's not actually the date that we returned home, but instead, it's the date that we can no longer look back on the previous year with the eyes of a traveler. It means that our year abroad ended longer ago than it feels, because as I stated before, time here is lightening speed. And it also means that I am farther and farther away from the thing that makes me feel truly alive.


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