Traveled to the U.S. this week, and when I went through customs in Los Angeles, the officer told me, “Welcome home.” As soon as he said it, my spirit exhaled. It was a peculiar feeling – the feeling of release, the feeling of putting down something heavy. It made me feel light and optimistic and….comfortable.
We’ve been in Thailand for eight months, and the best way I can describe it is that it’s like living outside your comfort zone 24/7. The people are wonderful and Chiang Mai is probably one of the best and easiest places we could have picked to live, but it’s not home (yet).
Home is the U.S. – Colorado Springs, in particular. Since I arrived, my friend’s daughter has been singing the song from Sound of Music that extols “a few of (her) favorite things!” I’ve got lots of those here. Not raindrops on roses or warm woolen mittens, but cool weather, mountains, friends, my home church, predictable driving patterns. It’s a neat place.
It’s hard living “in a country not their own.” My family is terribly jealous that I’m here while they are not. I think they would even sit through my ten days of boring meetings in my place just to have a few weeks in Colorado. So, I feel very thankful (and more than a little guilty) for this opportunity to unshoulder the burden of learning to adapt to a new culture. But maybe a year from now, when we are all returning to Chiang Mai from our furlough in the U.S., we will all think of Thailand as “home,” and we won’t be so eager to leave it the next time.