Tuesday, September 25, 2012

There's no place like home...(not even Hawaii)

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

After a month long hiatus from blogging and, quite frankly, any meaningful writing, I have finally returned to my tiny virtual home. I wish I could say that I've been too busy traveling to exotic locations to find time to write about them, but sadly that isn't the case. 

For a number of reasons, real life has taken up the better part of my time and I just haven't had a chance to sit down a write anything. Furthermore, as of lately, I have been cursed with a huge case of writer's block, and more upsetting, blog identity crisis. Ok, time: I can make more of, writer's block: I can overcome, but blog identity crisis?! Who has ever heard of such a thing?

In truth, as I spent the last couple weeks watching the sun rise and set over the Hawaiian islands, I was stuck by the painful realization that I had not one damn thing to say about it. Sure it was beautiful, and yes, I took plenty of pictures, but words didn't exactly pour out me as they usually do. And as I sweat through the tropical heat on jungle hikes through Maui and city walks through downtown Honolulu, I thought long and hard about what the hell I was going to do with my blog when I got back.

When it comes to Hawaii, it's not like there is  nothing interesting to say. I mean there was spam,  coconuts, the cemeteries...but all the topics seemed like those that fill a vapid space between the small talk and the stranger. I was overcome with an urge to write about something deeper, but every time I tried to write about Hawaii, I ended up writing about myself. 

The thing I thought about the most in Hawaii was home. That's Portland, Oregon. It's not where I was born or raised, but somehow, in a snowstorm I encountered between a trip from Tokyo to Berlin, the city became more of a home than any place I've known. Before I left for Hawaii all my coworkers were saying things like, "Oh, you'll love it there, you won't want to come back!" or "I'm so jealous, I wish I was going to Hawaii. Actually, I wish I could live there!"
Well, let me tell you, as a person who just spent two weeks on Maui and Oahu, I was ready to come back, and I would not want to live there. 

It's not a bad place, and I can see why many people think of it as paradise, but I'm sorry, there's just no place like home. As I thought about this while watching the full moon over Kihei, I was struck by a sense of disappointment that I didn't fulfill to my coworkers' prophecy of not wanting to come home. I was kind of hoping I would find a place so nice that I would want to stay put forever. But after two weeks of sun and sand I practically ran back onto the airplane, ready to return to cloudy mornings, gourmet food, and coffee shops.

But here's the more pressing question: Aren't I supposed to love vacations so much that I don't want to come home? Isn't that why people go on vacation? For being a world traveler, it's strange that every time I go on vacation, I just can't wait to get back. That right. Get back to my chilly city, my sweet sweet love, my 9-5 job, and even my monotonous daily routines. In this aspect, I feel like a failure as a traveler. Part of me believes that to be a successful traveler I should be restless, adverse to routine, and constantly thriving in new environments. But I'm the type of person who wants to be settled, not forever, but for a while. I want to feel like a contributing part of some society, even if it's not my own. So what kind of traveler does that make me? 

Woops, sounds like an identity crisis.

Even though I have found my city (for now at least), I'm still trying to find myself. I'm not really a shallow, small-talk kind of person, and this blog isn't a small-talk kind of blog, but hey, this is a work in progress.

(which is basically code for: get ready for some superficial posts on spam! The deeper stuff, I'll save that for another time....)

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