Wow, it's hard to believe after such a short time at home that I'm outta here again tonight. Cynthia and I will be attending a BIG International Living conference (almost 700 attendees!) in Las Vegas next week, then we head east to spend the holidays with our family.
Those of you who don't travel for extended periods of time may not be aware that part of the exit strategy is completely eating down the contents of your refrigerator. I've done such an outstanding job this time that the only remaining food is an apple, three strips of bacon, and two eggs. No question what I'm having for lunch today (after a breakfast of, you guessed it, bacon and eggs). Maybe TOO good a job-----.
I'm often asked by fellow expats if I get caught back up in the "energy" of the U.S. when I'm there. Readers who haven't lived abroad probably don't know what this even means. I'm referring to the over-stressed, over-stimulated, over-scheduled life we left behind and that doesn't exist at least here in Cuenca.
The answer is "no." I find myself in that culture but no longer of it. As a mental tuneup I watched The Matrix again this week (if you've never seen it, you really should) because I actually feel somewhat like Neo whenever I journey to a different location. All around me life is going on but I am experiencing a different reality. I get amused (and a bit sad) to see people getting so worked up about trivialities. I marvel at the sheer abundance in the States and know that excessive consumerism isn't necessary to be fulfilled.
Don't get me wrong--I love my home country and am always thrilled to return. I look forward to a delicious steak, a trip to Target and a huge grocery store, going to the mall, and seeing a movie with the latest technology. And I of course cherish every minute of being with my beloved family.
But I'm always glad to return to our quiet, simple world here in Ecuador. No, we don't have access to all the goodies available in the United States. We instead enjoy something much more important---peace.