Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Catch Up

Sorry for neglecting you blog, but I have valid reasons for not updating you more often:

1. Writer's Block.
2. Spent 2 weeks in the USA in October and I've just finally recovered.
3. I hate being redundant and rehashing material I've covered area.

Anyways, here goes:

Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor, your weary...

America, Land of the Free.

My oh my, how nice it was to see you again.

I've been smitten with the beaches in Australia for so long that sometimes I forget how beautiful America is. The terrain varies in each region; the coast of California, the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the deserts in the Southwest, the Rockies, the plains and badlands in the Midwest, the mountains and forests of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast and so on. If I'm not mistaken, America has the most diverse landscapes of any other country...credit  size and bountiful natural resources.

At this point in my life, I've been to the majority of the United States in some capacity minus:

North Dakota
South Dakota
South Carolina
Rhode Island
New Hampshire

Nearly 80%...so not bad at all.

Crater Lake

Since I'm so far away now, I made it a point on my trip to visit parts of the US I've never been, and to finally do touristy things I've put off previously.

Here's a list of major cities I visited in a span of two weeks there:

San Francisco - The bay is the bay
Portland - Like a bigger Ann Arbor
Seattle - Would be really nice if the weather was better
Vancouver - Stunning landscape and cool city, outside of 3 blocks
Chicago (layover, still counts...had Italian Beef) - I hate you
Detroit - Home sweet home
Washington, DC - My second home
Philadelphia - A lot nicer than I expected
New York City - Can't beat NYC
Denver (layover, still counts...) - So cold...
Los Angeles - Sun, smog, and sexiness

Crazy, huh? I think so too.

I remember the first time I visited San Francisco and thinking it was beautiful and how I wanted to move there at some point (it still is beautiful.) After living in Sydney I think the only city I can live in back in the US is NYC. Oh how capricious life is.

Seeing America through the eyes of a visitor instead of a resident is kind of like visiting your old college campus. You relive all the good times you had, reminisce with old friends, and try to do things you didn't get a chance to do when you were there. Fun times all around...and just like visiting your college campus again, you forget how cheap things were and how much bang you get for your buck. $2 pitchers, 40 cent wings, $5 lunch specials and the like are replaced with free soda refills, medium sized drinks being too large for my liking, and all varieties of cheap fast food EVERYWHERE.

8 pounds! I gained 8 pounds!

But just like visiting your college campus, you know it's short lived and you have to move on back to the real world and think about the present and future. I was asked several times if I planned on living in Australia forever, and my answer for the time being is indefinite. I may go back, I might stay forever...I don't know. I just know I'll be here at least the next 3 years; anything past that is up in the air and depends on a few things:

1. How much I miss my family and friends
2. If my life has more opportunity for growth here
3. If I find a wifey
4. If the US is a place I'd be proud to call home again (On the trip one of my close friends said "Fuck you Howard, you hate America." LOL)

Sometimes I wonder about how easy it was for me to just pick up and move. Is it because I know what I want and go after it, because I don't have deep emotional connections to people/things, or a combination of both? From an objective standpoint, I ditched my friends and family...which is kind of a selfish act. But at the same time I was unhappy where I was before, and I'm quite happy now...and the measure of true friendship isn't by time or distance, but by understanding one another and letting them be themselves, judge free and nudging them along to fulfil their fullest potential.

I think about how my family doesn't really have ties to America. All of my mom's side of the family is in Taiwan, and all of my dad's side of the family outside of his twin brother's family and older brother's family are back in Taiwan. Within my own immediate family, we're all over the place, with my sister finishing up nursing school in Illinois, my dad working in Battle Creek, and my mum working in Ann Arbor. This is in contrast to families who have been in America for generations...who are born and raised in the same city/state along with their parents, grandparents, and so on. I imagine it would be much more difficult to pick up and move to another country under those circumstances.

I imagine circumstances in the future where I would be taking my kids to visit America to see grandma/grandpa (if my parents stay that is,) similar to when I was a kid and we would go back to Taiwan to see family.

I just need to convince a few more people to move here...and life would be perfect...

Frankly, I think this post was kind of lame..but it's been a few months :p...I'll make it up to you blog, I promise.


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