I would rather spend a night in the dirtiest hotel in El Salvador than buy a freakin’ mattress. I really loathe these sorts of domestic things. They just seem pointless. Why buy a mattress? Like most home furnishings, they are just large and expensive barriers that hinder me from picking up and leaving the country whenever my heart desires.
But this means something. I’m gingerly inserting small roots into the damp soil of the Pacific Northwest. For a woman who has based a large portion of her identity on traveling, it’s rather uncomfortable. (I mean, I have a whole blog about it.)
And then a few weeks ago I read this amazing-heart-stoppingly-honest blog post about the courage to stay in one place.
I paused, reflected and then committed. And this is how I find myself on a rainy Saturday looking at mattresses in Big Lots.
I have mixed feelings about it. I still fight back the tears watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown thinking how far away I am from visiting those exciting, distant lands. On the other hand, one of the things that drove me crazy in Argentina was that I had no plan. I couldn’t make a plan because I had no idea how long I was going to be in that empanada-loving country (Swoon, I totally miss empanadas…I digress). Ultimately this was one of the reasons that caused me to leave because turns out it is actually kind of hard to move forward if you don’t have a plan.
But this is the alternative?! Buying a freakin’ mattress in the suburbs of Seattle on a rainy Saturday? Shoot me. Now.
Still, this is happening. I signed a 2-year phone contract. I let my mom drag me to consignment stores in Ballard where she calmly counselled me on buying adult-like furniture. (Check out Ballard Consignment and Classic Consignment)
But you want to know the best part about settling in and getting a mattress? I can now invite and host all my dear travelling friends when I convince them to come to Seattle 🙂
I did it. I got on the plane in Bangkok and eventually found my way back home to Seattle. The first week was rough. In one word: Jetlag.
There also was a boulder of expectations and self-doubt slowly crushing my ribs, forcing me to lie on the floor of my dad’s house while listening to The National and old Belle & Sebastian on repeat.
But eventually I managed to get my bum off the couch and embrace the beauty of being home. The view of lake, the mountains. My friends. Hanging out with my family.
One thing about being home is that everyone has questions.
Top 5 questions I get asked since being home:
It’s a typical hot and rainy night in Bangkok. I’ve spent the day buying last minute gifts, battling traffic jams and getting my last Thai massage of the trip (200 baht for one hour of it-hurts-so-good-bliss). And now I’m staying up late, writting, drinking tea and getting ready for my early morning flight back to the US.
That’s right people, after two months of traveling in Southeast Asia, I’m coming home.
Am I ready to go home?
As ready as I’ll ever be. Truth be told, I’m over seeing the temples and doing touristy things. But as you can imagine, it’s a mixed bag of emotions about returning to normal life.
What will I miss the most?
Adventurous stuff like mountain biking in Vietnam, washing elephants in Laos, white water rafting in Thailand and riding a motorbike taxi in any Southeast Asian country. Being able to do whatever I want. Not having a set schedule/routine. Cheap massages. $1 tropical fruit smoothies. Delicious street food. All the crazy/annoying/wonderful characters you meet while traveling.
What am I looking forward to?
I can’t wait to give giant hugs to my beloved friends and family. I’m also more than ready to enjoy the last few weeks of Seattle’s summer from a dock on Lake Washington. In general, being home.
There are more than a few practical matters to take care of once I get home (1. Find a job) but I think I’m ready to face these challenges and see what types of opportunities I can create for myself.
For now, all I have to do is make my early morning flight…