Hello KC! I have returned! As most of you know I have been home since last Thursday! We flew from Belgrade, Serbia > Berlin, Germany > Chicago > Kansas City. Majority of the trip went well. We somehow managed to board our flight in Chicago right as they were doing the last call for us to board the plane. We flew with AirBerlin on our 9 hour flight back to the states and it was not a full flight which meant laying across the 4 seats in the middle of the plane. So we had time to rest and stretch our legs which always helps.
Everyone asks how's being home!? I usually reply with, "ask me that in a week or two." So far it has been home. Sleeping in my own bed, driving my car again, seeing friends, getting to talk with my mom everyday, and drinking lots of coffee.
The times prior to this one when I had traveled I had only been gone for a month. That is almost enough to acclimate to another culture, but I don't know if it's enough time to realize and notice the details of how different two cultures can be. Or really how different things can be in America versus European countries. For example, I am now back in my native language and it's so interesting hearing peoples cell phone conversations. (not that I am being sneaking) But sometimes we hear those around us wether we want to or not. Listening to these conversations I think how different discussions and the things people get upset about here would probably never happen in so many of the countries I went to. As I say a lot, it can always be worse.
I am back in the world where people are always "busy." Running around with 100 different things to do. In other countries sitting and listening to friends while sipping on a espresso is part of life. I envy this. I feel that listening to someone is a real challenge for a lot of people. I mean really listening to them not just hearing them. Not being on your phone or thinking of the next place you need to be. Thinking back to all of the places I went to in Europe I can think of countless times where Tanja and I sat and talked or I sat and talked with a friend. Yes, I know we didn't have a job to get to or work to do, but those are some of the moments I remember the most. I can honestly only think of a select few times when I went to coffee with someone just because when living in the states. We joked a lot when we were in Serbia about how it would be 2 in the afternoon and the cafe's are full! We would say don't these people have jobs! I always thought- at least they are sitting and enjoying another persons company.
I get to see friends that I haven't seen in over 6 months because they are home for the holidays. It was odd coming back because a lot of my close friends have gotten jobs in other cities already! I kept thinking oh yes I will get to see Jessica and Sam and I realize, CRAP they don't live in KC anymore! But I felt like a proud mom watching so many of my classmates land jobs in big cities! I will be coming to visit those of you in San Fran, Austin, and Boston by the way!
Up until today everything has been super! I experienced 13-14? countries in the last 5 months and never got sick once. In last two days I felt my throat start to slowly get that achy feel. I woke up today and could barely swallow. Went to the doctor and I think my tonsils scared her. They are so swollen. Sorry if that's TMI. But needless to say I have strep throat. I am upset and annoyed. Being sick really just annoys me. It takes me away from doing the things I planned on doing like that one holiday we have... THANKSGIVING. This is the first holiday I can think of where I don't have projects looming over my head. I was so excited to really be in the moment with my family.
I am upset, but in a time where we are to be reminded of thankfulness- I am so thankful to be home. I still have weeks to visit family members. I can drive and see people whenever I want and I keep reminding myself of that. Last year I missed Christmas because I was out of the country, but this year I am so excited to experience all of the festivities. There will always be family gatherings to attend and mashed potatoes to be eaten. So be thankful for the friends and family you have in your life. Even if you have to drag them to drink a tiny espresso with you for 30 minutes, in the end they will be thankful you asked.
above image found here