*Note to reader: This post is proving very difficult to write, especially to start. Please bear in mind that this year has be transformative, life changing, and lots of other big adjectives. It's not easy to summarize in a few paragraphs."Do you want this?" Jess asks. I look at whatever it is, then glance at the half-full suitcase. "Nah," I reply. This is the constant conversation going around our house these says as we consider packing all of our possessions into a few pieces of luggage. Of course the kids want to keep everything they've acquired here, but honestly, is a broken toy worth the weight when we have a 20 kilo per person limit? I say no.
Besides packing up, we are worrying about arriving back in Bozeman - Radd going to a new school, me without a job and a million things to do. It seems as though our lives will pick up speed in an instant. Of course, we are so excited about seeing our friends and family again too! And we are sad to say goodbye to our new friends and wonderful school community here in Thailand. Suffice it to say, we are experiencing conflicting emotions.
"Reflecting" is what we're doing a lot of. It really is hard to believe it's been a year already - we've seen so much in a short period of time! A few things spring immediately to mind: monsoon rains, idyllic island and beach scenes, The Golden Triangle (Laos/Myanmar/Thailand), The Mekong River, Bangkok at night!, ancient kingdoms, the inner-workings of a "lifestyle" TV show, 5 people on one motorcycle, 1000 Golden Buddhas, 1 million kind faces, and 2 little Thai/American kids return to the country of their birth to experience what it means to be Thai and maybe what it means to be American - and that's just off the top of my head!
Today is June 19th, 2017. It has been nearly a year since we boarded that plane to take us on this journey - across the Pacific and South. In a few short days we will take the trip in reverse with the same luggage, but perhaps with less baggage. We will leave Chiang Rai, Thailand with a broader view of the world and a new perspective on living. We've gained so much and will leave behind a lot, too.
To Thailand, I think I speak for all four of us when I say ,"Thank you for the generosity, kindness, lessons, and patience with us. We know we will see you again someday."
To America, I say "Get ready, Baby! We're coming home."