Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I had an overwhelming request for some sort of a “conclusion” to my blog. For everyone who’s been following my travels this entire time, thank you so much. For the blog record, I made it home safely. I appreciate you asking. It’s been a little over a month and I am still finding myself consciously trying to adjust back to the American lifestyle, whatever that means. So far what I noticed it meaning is dirt cheap beer, massive establishments and restaurant menus with so many options of flavors it will blow your mind. Oh, and there are people and cars everywhere. It’s almost like sensory overload. We are also huge fans of tipping everyone and their dog. I am pretty embarrassed to say that when I got stranded at the Chicago airport bar, I couldn’t remember if we tip 10-15% or 15-20%. An additional 20% seemed like a lot to add to my existing drinking tab, but I couldn’t be bothered to ask anyone, let alone do the math, so I just assumed that $10 on a $30 bill seemed like a nice round number. Also, has anyone else ever noticed that our currency is a massive eye sore and there are American flags everywhere you look?
Despite the occasional comments I tend to make ragging on life in the States, I have come to realize that we as Americans are extremely fortunate here, and it has been hard for me to see until I arrived back home. Speaking for myself, I have always taken our freedom and safety for granted. After getting to know friends from around the world, I now know that not everybody got or will get those same privileges. And that’s when it occurred to me: my time in New Zealand was more than just experiencing New Zealand. My travels, if only to one country, introduced me to cultures from around the globe that I now feel connected to. I feel like in some small way I have experienced the world, and have opened up a door of wonder and interest in so many other cultures and backgrounds that I cannot wait to explore.
With that said, I am happy to be back in Virginia Beach, VA for the time being to enjoy the summer with my family and friends. Here is a picture of me and my Momma Bear cheering for the US soccer team at the bar after we advanced in the World Cup despite a loss to Germany. Congrats on the World Cup win, all my new German friends! Proste!