I am back in the States now. Have been for about a month I’d say. Not that I have been in Cumberland, but I have been in the States. It was a strange experience to step back into a world where everyone speaks my language and it took some adjustment.
When I arrived in Orlando and walked to Customs (and may I just say I love that American airports have separate lines for their own citizens) I said,
‘Hola. Necesitas mi pasaporte y -‘ before the man behind the counter interrupted me.
‘Coming from the South, I see?’ I am pretty sure I blushed.
‘Well, if you don’t mind, I don’t speak Spanish. And welcome home young lady.’
I took my passport back and turned to walk away. ‘Thanks.’
‘And you might want to speak English to the fellows on your way out as well. You’re back in America now. They’ll understand you.’ He winked and I went on my way feeling both relieved to settle back into my native tongue and disappointed.
It took some time before Spanish phrases didn’t come to my mind before English ones. Bee, my lovely chauffeur from the airport, and Joanna, my gracious host in Orlando, got the most of it. Like when I was speaking loudly about some couple not too far from Bee and I and then realized and said, ‘Oh shit. English isn’t a secret language anymore, is it?’
Orlando was lovely. So much a place I can picture myself some day living. It’s hot and the storms are amazing! There’s such a variety of people and every store, restaurant, thrill seeking adventure that you want is at your fingertips. But, alas, I then had to make my way from Orlando back to Baltimore all too soon. Via the ever in-expensive SouthWest Airlines.
And while I enjoyed seeing my friends and family once again, I have not entirely enjoyed being home. It’s always difficult when you return from a long trip. Especially a trip you really enjoy. It’s that resistance to settling down again. Or that loss of freedom that you have when you are wandering the globe on your own without anyone to remind you who you are or what you are supposed to do or how you would typically respond. And when I am traveling I feel as though, maybe for the only times in my life, I am completely free to be me. Without any past or pre-conceived notions of who that person is, but who she is right at that moment. In the present. Without responsibility or consequence. And already I am missing that person and losing her to the one I feel like I am supposed to be.