It's been about a month since I set foot back into the good ol' US of A. Things I was most happy about upon landing:
1. My AWESOMESAUCE boyfriend waiting at the arrivals gate after a hellish wait in customs to pick me up and drive me three hours back home.
2. Mexican chain restaurants.
3. Colorado people in general. You guys are really the coolest, most down to earth, friendly folks on this planet. I'm so proud to live here!
4. My (eight year old) puppy dog, Thunder, greeting me with kisses and so much love at the door.
5. MY BED. Oh, my bed. Three foam toppers and a memory foam pillow. YES.
I've slowly but surely settled into my summer life here in the boat. I'm working at a little coffee shop downtown called MountainBrew, where I started as a baking intern my senior year of high school. I've been doing my best to socialize, but it's hard when a) I have to wake up at 5:30 AM for my job and b) all I seem to talk about is travel. People only want to hear so much. Most people at least. When people ask me how my trip was, it's challenging to really describe it in words that fit into a small talk conversation. What am I supposed to say besides inadequate adjectives like: amazing, indescribable, really-super-tremendously-awesome, etc. But there are a few priceless individuals who ask questions deeper than "how was it?" and who really want to know. And I am happy to blabber away about every little detail. But anyway.
In many ways the transition back to home was really easy for me. By the end of my adventure, I was very ready for the normalcy and ease of my life in America. I cried when the plane landed in Denver, hearing the time and temperature, the amount of traffic on I-70, and seeing those weird white tents that apparently look like mountains (they don't). When I saw Mason waiting for me at arrivals, holding a sign that said "Welcome Home" in every language from every country I had visited (how did I find someone so cute?!) I cried again. I was back in the land of comfort, ease, and Hot Cheetos. I felt good. I felt tremendously happy. I went back to work after one day of adjusting to the time change. It wasn't all that hard, considering I had to be up early and my body thought it was 1:30 in the afternoon anyway. I kept myself busy: working, catching up with friends, exploring and enjoying the beauty of the Colorado outdoors.
Slowly, though, the "newness" of being home began to wear off. I started to miss Prague! Every passing day, I missed it more and more. I still do. I miss the lifestyle. I miss the people. I miss the challenges that made me stronger, and the freedom I had to be purely and uninhibitedly myself. My time there was less mundane, scheduled, and filled with moments where I felt I was "supposed" to be doing something. It was filled with spontaneity, and a peace inside me that I was always in the right place at the right time doing what I needed for myself. I can honestly say I grew into a person I fell in love with while I was abroad. I am stronger, more confident, and more determined to create a life meaningful to me (instead of basing my decisions on what others think.) This is what I miss most about Prague. I didn't learn so much in school as I did about myself, life, and others. In the end, isn't that what truly matters?
So now I'm getting back to the basics of being home, and coming to the not so super realization that I'm home for a while. Home is nothing like Prague, and it shouldn't be. If I had one wish in the whole world, though, it would be this: I would pack up everything that is dear to me (my family, my closest friends, my dog, Mason) and move them all abroad. That right there would be my perfect life. But this home is where I am right now, and that is okay. I am surrounded by people who love me. I have never been happier or more grateful for the life I have been given.
So thank you, Prague, for all that you taught me. One day I will come back to you, that much is definite. But until then, I promise to make each day a blessing, to marvel at the little things, and to never ever stop loving and learning.