At the top of the Rough Ridge Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Home, Sweet Home

There’s nothing like returning home again after a long spell overseas.

The excitement of seeing family and friends again.

The joy of being able to do the things you used to do.

And mostly, the ease of it all. Things aren’t constantly threatening to break down. Dust takes much longer to accumulate. Everything is literally brighter.

There’s no obstacle, such as 20 million people or a language barrier, to doing what you want to do. Or rather, whatever may be considered an obstacle is so familiar already that it doesn’t seem like one. You can take a break.

Various circumstances related to my latest visa run have allowed me to stay home for almost a whole month*, the longest period I’ve been in the U.S. since I moved to China. I feel as if I am staying forever. The ease of being at home means I really don’t mind waking up every hour during the night in paranoid fits and/or not sleeping at all, so that I can do work on Beijing time and free up my daytime to hang out with my family. Plus it helps that my parents are cooking all the dishes I’ve missed, which means I pretty much don’t have a care in the world right now (except for my bosses).

* Twenty-four days, to be exact. But who’s counting? (Me, obviously. I’m relishing every single day.)

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