“Last year I went to Yosemite, and the year before to Mt. Shasta, but as beautiful as they were nothing is as beautiful as my mountain.”
This stranger’s words perfectly captured the not so strange feeling that I have as well. There is nothing as good as home in the Pacific Northwest. No matter where I go in the world and how many places I call home, there is nothing so glorious as this home.
The life I lived for one year is quickly absorbed into, engulfed by, and covered up by the life I lived for 24 years.
But this home that is so familiar to me makes for me it harder to remember the life I just left. I know the roads without a map here, and I see friends I grew up with in the grocery store. Things that are more familiar overshadow things not yet set in stone, and so the life I lived for one year is quickly absorbed into, engulfed by, and covered up by the life I lived for 24 years. But coming home isn’t always so philosophical:
Coming home is a goodbye hug and a sweet kiss on the forehead in the airport.
Coming home is no longer feeling guilty speaking to the flight attendant in English, because English is the only option.
Coming home is crying at the ticket counter when I missed my connection, and then waiting 9 hours for my 1.5 hour flight for the open arms and hugs.
Coming home is answering my 4 AM wake-up call in Chinese.
Coming home is finding out that my two-year-old niece remembers my name.
Coming home is mourning the lack of squat toilets and remembering to put the toilet paper in the toilet, not the trash.
Coming home is having a best friend here to keep me awake and kick jet lag faster.
Coming home is remembering that waiters like small talk.
Coming home is being the one to drop someone else off at the airport.
Top photo credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington