Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Place

Well, our 2011 US Tour is over and we’re back in Oz. It was wonderful to spend time with very dear friends and family. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see all of the people we wanted to see (or spend as much time with all of those we did), but that is always the case with trips such as this. Prior to leaving, I was SO ready for time off. My expat angst had reached a peak and I was in dire need of my American fix. The US didn’t seem as peculiar to me this time as it had in the past with the other trips back. People were genuinely happy for a change. Despite the shit economy over the past few years, you could definitely see things were on the up and up. I witnessed this everywhere we went, from San Francisco to Knoxville to New York. This is not to overshadow the fact that there are friends and family who are worried about how they will make ends meet and what the future has in store for them—the living ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ syndrome. I just felt the overall mood was more positive than before. Perhaps this had more to with my personal outlook than with theirs…whichever, it was nice. While by and large the trip was fantastic, there were some snags along the way. Every single flight from beginning to end was either cancelled, delayed, or rerouted. You really have to keep a sense of humor about these things, otherwise you’ll snap! The climax was the return flight home, which was supposed to be non-stop from San Francisco to Sydney (approximately 14 hours). We were about 30 minutes from landing when we were informed we had to be rerouted to Brisbane due to fog. Long story short, we made it back to Sydney 12 hours later. Another fine moment that stands out was after 7 hours of drinking margaritas with the famn damily, I turned into a complete jackass. Not one of my greatest moments, but at least I won the ‘Best Actor in a New Dramatic Series’ award. Bad travel karma wasn’t the only recurring theme, I found myself telling the same story over and over to everyone I spoke with that we were planning to move back to the US in a little over a year. Each time I retold the story it became shorter, and consequently each time I told it, I started doubting its truthfulness. What if in another year I didn’t want to leave Australia for America? It amazes me how you have to leave a place to understand how much it means to you, and ironically, the longer you are away from that place, the less tangible it becomes.