As I sit in the Panama airport for my 7-hour layover on my return to Colombia (better than the 10 hour layover on the way), I can’t help but reflect a bit on my time at home. It’s peculiar, really, because being home for 3 weeks was enough to almost make me forget about my life and job in Colombia. It was like I never left in July. But as soon as I began the return journey, which always includes people watching and sleeping in airports, it was like that part of me turned back on.
It was great seeing all my friends and family, not having to think so much to communicate, eating all the foods I missed and then some, and having my car to drive around! Thank you to everyone who opened time in their schedules to catch up with me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Below is a list of some thoughts that crossed my mind in no particular order during my 3-week vacation. I wish I had written everything down because then it would be more complete, not my sporadic remembrances, but hindsight is 20/20.
- The taxi driving me to a friend’s place in Chicago…. “We leave so much space in front of us when we drive!”
- “My toes are cold.”
- “Ohhh yay, shopping in peace without a salesperson attacking you.”
- “We Americans speak SO loud.”
- “My toes are freezing.”
- “Why do we all dress so sloppy when we go about our errands?” (Note: I am entirely guilty of this as well, even in Colombia when I go out and about in my workout capris and tanks. It’s far more comfortable, I understand! Going to Wal-Mart just caused me to notice that our culture does it as a whole.)
- “Oh my god, my own space, my own car, to go wherever I want whenever I want. The freedom!” (Just a result of living where public transport becomes your only form of transportation.)
- “So much stuff in our houses, our grocery stores, just everywhere.”
- “I think my toes are going to fall off.”
As it always is when you move to another culture, you find that you miss certain parts of your own culture, while discovering that parts of your new culture really make a lot of sense if you stop to think. Being home was great, but vacations are always a bit haphazard and I’m ready to get back to my regular routine.
Okay, and the warm weather. 🙂