Monday, February 17, 2014
Why I hate the phrase: Back to Reality.
Yesterday we got home from an amazing trip. At the risk of using a total cliché, I'll even call it a trip of a lifetime. (If Angkor Wat doesn't qualify for that cliché, then I don't know what does.) First, we spent a week in Vietnam visiting David's family. His parents moved there about a year and a half ago. We visited with them and met a lot of cousins and people who hadn't seen David since they moved to Hawaii when he was less than a year old. We traveled to Vung Tau, the town they lived in when he was born, and spent a night in Saigon, a complete overload of the senses. We ate food while sitting in little plastic chairs, took our life into our hands crossing the street, and toured around Tay Nihn on the backs of motor bikes.
From Vietnam we flew over to Siem Reap, Cambodia for a week. We watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, we sat at the Banyon Temple in Angkor Thom and gazed up at 200 buddha faces, and we lit incense in small temples where women would put bracelets on our wrists. We learned first hand why Cambodia is sometimes referred to as the land of a thousand smiles. The people had a friendliness and warmth that we just fell in love with.
Today we're getting back to work, doing mountains of laundry, dealing with bitter cold temperatures and fighting jet lag. Inevitably, when we get back from a trip, someone always says to us, "Well, back to reality."
That phrase, back to reality, is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Why? Because the experience I just had is my reality. It's as much a reality as the work I grind through to make the money to have that experience. It's as much of a reality as the mountains of laundry I have to do. We love to travel and we make it a part of our life by making decisions in our life so that we are able to do it.
Lately it seems that only negative things are allowed to be "reality" and not the amazing things too. The standard answer to, "How are you?" has become, "Busy." What's the point in being so busy if it doesn't afford you time to also be happy, inspired or awestruck? Or maybe we feel like we can't talk about those things too because we'll seem lazy or selfish because we want time that we're not working. I'm not sure of the answer, but I am making a smooth transition from one part of my reality to another, and I'm loving it.