Khmer Goodbye

I’ve drafted eighty-four blog posts about this transition back to the U.S., but none of them really work. They don’t capture it.
I wrote about the “Miss and Won’t Miss” list I’ve made, and how so many of the things are just different sides of the same coin (except my landlady. that gal’s such a goddang treat, she gave me hugs and kisses on the cheek when she gave me my security deposit back yesterday. she’s only in the “miss” category).
I’ve written, reflected and meditated on this transition so much in the last week or so, both with people and solo, that I think I’m just ready. Don’t get me wrong – there are tears that will undoubtedly be shed (and have already been shed) over this transition.
But right now I’m incredibly grateful for having had this year and for what it’s brought me. Mostly for durian, but for lots of other things, too. (okay, maybe durian’s not the *top* of the list, but seriously, people, there’s a reason they call it the king of fruits.)
The other prominent feeling? Curiosity. So incredibly curious about what this next chapter will bring, what everything will feel like, and how I’ll perceive everything. I’m curious about this current balcony time with the sky pinking up. About handing over the keys to my apartment. About the upcoming trip to the airport. About the flights back. About seeing family again. About moving back to Duluth. Each step, right now, feels like a new adventure I’m about to undertake, even though it’s going “back.”

View from the balcony

So, sitting here filled with gratitude and curiosity, waiting for my regular corner place to open up to go get some noodles, I’m realizing that the noodles are really just a perfect metaphor. They’re the things that are right on our block that bring us joy, that are so simple they’re beautiful, that cost barely anything but seem invaluable, and that can best be enjoyed surrounded by smiling faces.
Go get your noodles. Because I’m gonna go get mine.

A Picture is Worth…

… well, hopefully enough to make up for the fact that I haven’t posted in ages.

The last six weeks have been travel. A little bit of solo travel, and a lot of travel with my ex-husband, an opportunity for which I am so very (SO. VERY.) grateful. I know that this is different; not ordinary.  I also know that my ex is not ordinary. So much gratitude!  (did i say that yet?) We were able to travel around SEAsia, both to places I’ve already been and to a bunch I haven’t. Here’s a picture tour of the last six weeks…

In Cambodia, we went to Kratie to see the endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins (seriously, you guys, they look like the love children of belugas and reg’lar dolphins)…

…and to Siem Reap.

Then we met up in Singapore with a gal with whom I’ve been friends longer than just about anyone I know.

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Rooftop bar view

In Laos, we went to Vientiane…

…Vang Vieng,…

…and Luang Prabang.

In Vietnam, we went to Hanoi…

…Halong Bay…

…Cat Ba…

…and through Ninh Binh to Hue, before heading to Saigon.

And, since I had 10 days left in PP before leaving, and couldn’t seem to just stay here, I hopped a bus up to Ratanakiri. 

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Hotel view

Rainy season made it less than perfect (and a bit crazy – ask me about the trip out to the hotel outside of town!), but it was still good to see yet another place in this country that’s come to feel like home over the past year. But more on those feelings soon…