Well we are checking out of the hotel in about 5 hours. We confirmed the final leg from LAX to Detroit so we are a-go! We should be home very early the morning of the 15th. I am feeling particularly sad and mournful this morning about leaving. I wish I could have really enjoyed Ha Noi like I wanted to, I wish I could have exposed the boys to so much more, I wish I could stay for much longer. Although I do love the US and feel more patriotic now than in a long time, I don’t feel like I’m giving Addy any great gift by taking her back there. Ha Noi might not have the same food, the same opportunities. But that does not make it lacking – it just makes it different. And different is not necessarily bad. Some people might find it very hard to envision a life here. Obviously millions do not. And I think you can count me in that millions. It is beautiful, peaceful, serene, happy and real. Those are words, sadly, I can’t use to describe my life back at home. There is a lot about the US that is just not any of those things. You have to look hard, work hard, to feel those things. Or at least that has been this woman’s experience. I am sorry that this portion of our journey has come to an end. I will miss this place. I think Vietnam has become my family’s new “Disney”. It is my Happiest Place on Earth.
But it is what it is and I have a home with dogs and cats and other pets to get home to. I have friends with new babies I have yet to meet. I have Barnes & Noble, my car (which may never seem quite as safe again), really unhealthy but deliciously addicting junk food and TiVo. Ok, that last sentence sort of made me feel like the equivalent of writing “I have cigarettes, alcohol and cocaine to look foreword to”. Substitutions for happiness but not real happiness. So I guess I will focus on my friends and family, my wonderful sweet children and my ridiculously obnoxious but still lovable pets. Those are the things that matter most.
We were in a restaurant a few days ago and we got to talking with a man who was in Vietnam from Chicago. He was traveling for pleasure – nothing else. It was invigorating to share my feelings with someone else who really *got it*. He understood completely how I feel and shared the sentiment. I didn’t feel so crazy after all. There are things that matter and then there is the rest. Our society is mostly about the rest and that is why it is so different from here where the things that matter get top billing.
But this is supposed to be about my homecoming! I am sure there are many of you who will read this and not be able to relate. Even some of you who have been here before me, on this journey, to this country. Some might even consider me to be anti-American for sharing these sentiments. And that’s ok. I have come to the conclusion that everyone needs something different from the world. My goal is to recreate what I need at home in the absence of this wonderful place that truly feels like home to me.
Wish us luck! The journey has only just begun!