Happy New Year! I apologize for being away from the blog for so long but I had an idea that Longhorn Tales from Asia should be about Asia. Upon returning to Asia I have changed my mind and promise to never let the blog go without an entry for that long. Therefore occasionally you will be subjected to just my random rantings about things I perceive to be worthy of writing about (or that annoy, amuse, or inspire me!)
Where did I go for five weeks? Through the looking glass of course! Actually it was an extended stay in the States over the holidays with lots of family time but in some ways not unlike Alice’s trip in Lewis Carroll’s novel. Same but different. We are new to this living abroad experience so I am not sure if it is me or it is a common phenomenon. Regardless, jumping through the looking glass is an adventure in itself.
I did not anticipate the confused reality of our situation. We left the sunny days of Jakarta for the cool crispness of a Texas winter. We changed our shorts and sandals for jeans and boots. We left a very insulated existence of an expat in a foreign country to being surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors that we have known for a very long time. Having only been overseas for a short time, in some ways it was as if we picked up exactly where we left off. Like college students returning after their first semester we came “home.” Of course as any college student will tell you, the duality of that situation sometimes makes you question the true definition of home.
Some people same home is where the heart is. Nice sentiment for Hallmark but I doubt there is truly anyone in our modern world that can pinpoint one geographical location to their heart. Families scatter over the generations, friends relocate, and the internet allows us to meet and interact daily with people all over the world. My heart is many places with the people I love and care about. So where is home? I have pondered it a lot and still a definitive answer alludes me. If we are lucky maybe “home” is wherever we make it, in many places, at the same time, coexisting on both sides of the looking glass.
As time goes by I wonder if the traveling back and forth will always make me feel like Alice, living in a surreal duality or if I will become more comfortable with it. The truth is I missed Jakarta and our life here when I was in the States. I am glad to be back so that now I can miss the other side. This isn’t the case of the “grass is always greener,” or a longing for what you don’t have. It is just an appreciation for what lies on both sides of the mirror.