Well, I’m home.
I had a lovely day in Vancouver, B.C. because I flew there instead of directly to SeaTac. My parents and I had a fabulous dinner at Legendary Noodle, a restaurant of some renown that I first enjoyed in 2010. I particularly recommend their chrysanthemum tea. Also, while we’re talking about Canada, I would totally move to St. John’s. I had a layover there and it’s gorgeous. So if someone could get me a job and a visa, yes please, I’d do it in an instant.
And then it was Labor Day weekend which involved lots of food and seeing some people. It was nice, but I misjudged the weather a touch–it was definitely sweater weather. What are you gonna do. But at least there are cats. In person.
Anyway, a while ago I read an interesting post on G. K. Chesterton’s views on travel. He is known for once saying,
The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.
The post goes on to discuss, with great art and insight, Chesterton’s other, perhaps paradoxical, views on travel but this initial quote has stuck with me as someone who has just returned home to a foreign country.
I mean, Ireland is not radically different from the US and, in truth, I was gone not quite eight months from Christmas break. I often characterized it (as well as my time in England) as similar enough to be comfortable but different enough to be surprising. But still, some things have struck me as strange. And I’ll try not to be one of those people who gets back from a trip and it’s all they can talk about even when it’s clearly been exhausted as a topic of conversation among your friends. But I probably will be anyway, sorry in advance.
Little things have caught me a bit off-guard, both positively and negatively. For example, I got some food at the St. John’s airport and had to pay more than the labeled price because tax hadn’t been included. Oh, VAT how I miss you. On the other hand, not using adapters to plug things in is so liberating. I got back into driving pretty well, not having had the unfortunate experience of driving at all while in Ireland. On the other hand, though, I miss being able to walk everywhere.
Being home certainly has its benefits but it’s also a struggle. I want to find things to do with my time (besides applying to jobs) but I also am still thinking of this as a temporary time so I don’t want to get too involved. Of course, who knows how ‘temporary’ this will actually be.
Terry Pratchett, a prolific fantasy author, struck real close to home when he said,
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
And here I am, back at the beginning, waiting for Vizzini. It would be very hackneyed to say that neither I nor Gig Harbor are the same, but it’s true nonetheless.
For much of college, I had a great dread of moving home after graduation. It just seemed like such a defeat. And here I am, not currently with any prospects other than the fact that there are more jobs to apply to. On some level, I do feel sort of defeated. I went away to get a degree, then got decided to go even farther for a second one, and here I am, back where I’ve started, and most of my friends still in the Harbor are high schoolers. But at the same time, I’m feeling alright.
At this point in my life, no experience is really going to be wasted. So if I end up at Safeway for a while (though I think I’d rather move to Gillette, WY before it got to that point), it’s not going to be a disaster. Though I’ve yet to lose a love, it’s a teensy bit like this poem by Elizabeth Bishop. Though it may look sort of like I’ve lost a bunch of things, I haven’t had any true disasters. I can and will manage. And I look forward to whatever may come, knowing that even coming home can be like going on a journey.
Lastly, here’s this week’s playlist. Enjoy.
- Tourists – Olympia
- Animals – Coast Modern
- Everything’s A Ceiling – Death Cab for Cutie
- Domino Dancing – Pet Shop Boys
- Edge of Town – Middle Kids
- Different – James TW
- The Wilhelm Scream – James Blake
- Ghost of a King – The Grey Havens
- We Move Like the Ocean – Bad Suns
- In the Shadows – Foreign Air