Europe

Published on August 15th, 2011

5

Surreal Reflections Upon Reentry

Turns out that dumping all my “stuff” unearths some interesting bits of nostalgia.  Given that I’m dismantling all my worldly possession here, today I faced the decidedly tedious task of pawing through my 2 drawer filing cabinet, stuffed with all manner of ancient history of my life.

One such bit that emerged is a yellowed note card from “Meegan Services, J.F. Kennedy International Airport” with a notation about a reservation for a room at the “President” hotel (at a rate of a mere $30!)  Given the date of the reservation, the card could only be from the day my two young daughters and I returned to the States from our many adventures in Europe.  I never used the hotel reservation, and instead booked the three of us on a Greyhound bus to Chicago the same day we arrived at JFK (so my folks could lay eyes on their precious granddaughters that I’d dragged around Europe for 8 months.)

On the back of the reservation I’d apparently scribbled myself a note.   From the tone of it, I must have written it whilst cramped in a bus seat whizzing through the night towards the Midwest.

It reads:

SurrealReEntry600x400

xxxxx
Now I’ve done a lot of travelin’ since those days, and each time I’ve returned home I again feel that same giddiness with reliably hot showers, the bliss of being understood when I speak, and yes – the utter genius of a contraption that spits out paper towels!

I’m sure many of we wanderlusts can relate to the surreal feelings of reentry.

How ’bout you – have you ever gazed in awe at a towel dispenser in your home country after wandering amid far away places for a spell?


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!



5 Responses to Surreal Reflections Upon Reentry

  1. Lindsay says:

    I was only gone for seven months and felt disoriented when I came back. We must’ve been on the same wavelength, I posted this mid-August after a return from Cambodia: http://lindsayliveshere.org/2011/08/18/slowly-from-here/
    Can’t wait to hear how Vietnam turns out for you! Give a holler if you would like to connect; I’m relatively near in Phnom Penh!

  2. I always find it a big deal to go food shopping when I come back home. It’s so shocking to have so many choices. It’s also overwhelming. But I’ll admit–I like it, too.

    I usually find driving to be the most surreal thing of all. Just feels very strange after not driving for so long.

  3. Kirk says:

    I guess that is something left for me to experience as I have not been out of the country for more than a few days at a time. I can wait until I am able to actually be confused by Starbucks or fascinated by a towel dispenser.

  4. Amy VJ says:

    Not nearly as shocking, but after living in the country for merely three years, I was stunned to find myself paralyzed by the “big city” of little Portland! Was afraid to drive on the highway, was overwhelmed by a Fred Meyer grocery store, traffic sounded horrifically loud, and was completely confused by Starbuck’s coffee…… well, I still am…

    • travelnlass@gmail.com says:

      Well yes – I mean… who WOULDN’T be confused by Starbuck’s? 😉

      But seriously, Amy – it seems whenever we get really used to one way of life, one routine – it can seem daunting to change ANYTHING! And though my reentry experience that I jotted on that note wasn’t so much fear of NYC or the U.S., etc. (more like simply feeling still FOREIGN, even though I was back in my own home country!), I too felt a bit daunted after living on Vashon Island for 10 years, and moving back to the big bad city of Seattle (which I ADORE!)

      See ya soon AMY – we’re gonna ROCK the “Urban Race” next weekend! 😉

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