My circadian rhythm and I are still processing being home after a crazy 5 months abroad. I get ridiculously tired at 7PM and 10:30PM, and I wake up at 7AM before getting up at 9AM. In any event, I imagined my jetlag to be a lot worse, and It is REALLY great to be back home.
Although I doubt anyone was keeping track or holding us to traveling for 6 months, we were originally supposed to visit Vietnam and Cambodia for a few weeks after spending NYE in Hong Kong with Jon. We also seriously thought about making our way to South America for a drastically different change of scenery. As exciting as traveling and seeing different places was, after a certain point Kat and I decided that we were more excited about being home and starting the next chapter of our lives.
I am really looking forward to spending more time with my family and making an earnest effort in bonding with my parents. One of my deepest regrets in life would be not getting to REALLY know my parents before they go. I made a vow to myself to speak only in Cantonese with my parents, even though my mom knows English fairly well. I’ve always been embarassed about little Chinese I know, but it is time to bear the pain of not knowing words and time to stop using a language barrier as an excuse to not open up to my parents more.
I am also really excited to hit the ground running on a startup. Running a business is something I’ve wanted to do for a longgggg time, and now with my old job, Quirky, and traveling out of the way, I feel ready to crack down and start sprinting.
It would be a feat for both the writer and reader to capture 5 months of reflection in a single post, so I will reflect more in other posts and just end by listing out what’s fucking great about being home:
- Not having to filter water before drinking or brushing my teeth
- Not having to carry 35lbs of stuff, and constantly un/pack
- Wearing jeans, not wearing gladiator sandals, and having a wardrobe
- Stability, personal space, privacy
- An endless supply of the greatest cuisine in the world – my dad’s food
- Being able to talk to friends and family in person
- Consistently fast internet
- Not having enforced power outages
- Not being yelled at to look inside a store when walking down the sidewalk
- Consistently hot showers
- Using toilets that don’t require buckets for flushing
- No mosquitoes, and more importantly, no relative fear of catching malaria or other scary airborne diseases
- Using my phone to call people again
- Not being paranoid about pickpocketing and not having to tether my wallet and camera to my pants
- Not being paranoid about having my room broken into and not having to carry everything on me just to go on a walk
- Being in a place where I feel I identify with
- Not having to figure out where to sleep
- Having a clear division between where people walk, and where automobiles drive
- Being able to work on a desk
- Trusting that the price I am paying is the price everyone else is paying
- Driving myself to get somewhere
- Using Google Maps
- 4G internet on my phone and not having to buy food to use WiFi
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely cherish all the great and not-so-great moments of traveling. There are many things that I already miss, and others that will intensify much more in the coming weeks that will make me question my decision to come home. The decision to backpack around Asia for 5 months with someone I love will resonate throughout my life for many years to come. There is no way to share the sensory overload, the experiences, the lessons, the perspective I gained.
One of my favorite quotes: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
All that being said, I can’t believe it’s over, am grateful that I’m alive, sad that it’s over, and really excited to start anew. Also, there is no place like home.