A number of people have responded to my reaction on my first visit to the US since we moved here over a year and a half ago, and with these responses and a few emails back and forth I’ve come to a few realizations. The big one is that people here always ask what we miss from the US. My first response is always “people,” and the questioner’s response is usually “yeah, obviously, but what else?” I would list things I sort of miss, like foods and wine and riding lessons and trail rides, but what I just realized is that with this list, I’m really just repeating my “people” answer because the only reason I miss these things is because these things represent my relationships with people. So, from now on, I’m just going to let my one word answer stand, because that’s really all it is.
A number of people also said they were surprised I wasn’t more overwhelmed or disconcerted by my rapid reintroduction to the US. Honestly, I was surprised too. I thought I’d be utterly blown away by all the people and speed and technology and culture and everything, but I wasn’t. The crowds of people in the Atlanta Airport bothered me, but that would have bothered me before I ever even visited Belize. And I don’t like the traffic, but I never did, and I actually think I was more patient with it on this trip than I ever was when I lived in the US. I was more patient with most things on my trip than I ever was when we lived there because I just in general find it easier to stay calm and not get stressed out now than I ever did when we lived in NY. So, my advice on how to deal with the stress of the American lifestyle? Get outta the country!
My biggest problems with leaving Belize for two weeks seems to be that two weeks was long enough for my resistance to poisonwood to go away. I went out for a ride in the jungle early last week, and by the end of the week I had poisonwood (a rash like poison ivy) all over my arms, chest, and stomach – basically everywhere that was either exposed or sweaty. I had a problem with it when we first moved here, but have only had a little bit of it here and there over the last six or eight months. So, besides being very itchy and looking like I have some sort of plague, I’m annoyed that the allergy resistance goes away so quickly. Hopefully it won’t take me six months to get it back, and at least I know the rash and the itch go away in five or six days.