I am an East Coast gal. Born and raised. I got a weird Philly-Jersey-Delaware accent. You know…I sometimes say water or bagel weird (all about the context). I got that “don’t talk to strangers in the street” attitude (keep your eyes straight, don’t stare at others). You know walking fast always in a hurry. Usually to WAWA to drink my coffee like I am on some kind high intense mission. Although, some of these generalizations might not be true (might just be crazy ol’ me), I think a lot of people from the east coast would agree with them.
I like the east coast and all of our wacky quirks (whatever they may be in reality). It is home and will always be home. But I have say, something has always drawn me to the west coast. Maybe it is the travel junkie in me wanting to see somewhere new and live somewhere different, maybe it is the hiking and green spaces and active people, or maybe I am just following my inner yuppie, hippie, or whatever you call it—all “I like almond milk in my special coffee. And could you pass the organic jam and fresh ground peanut butter.” Whatever called me to the west coast brought me there FINALLY for an epic, glorious vacation. And yes, I LOVED IT.
You might be wondering why a Peace Corps Volunteer would travel all the way back home to states, but not visit her family on the east coast? I have this friend- best friend actually who I met in here in Peace Corps. She is another volunteer in my group, Tricia, and has become my rock during my service here in El Salvador. When things are good, bad, in between, weird, crazy, frustrating, or I just want to shoot the shit with someone, I call her. She is an incredible friend, ally, resource, support system, sister, companera, listener, advice giver, etc. One of her many amazing qualities (yes, I am gushy with the cheese right now almost as if she is my boyfriend ;)!) is that she is incredibly generous and invited me on her vacation home to the states. She headed home in the beginning of August for 3 weeks and invited me to join her during the last ten days. So I went! I mean I had always wanted to see Seattle, the west coast, and imagining 3 weeks without Tricia here was pretty rough. I know what you are thinking: what did your crazy, hovering, mother with only one child in the whole world (me) say to this? Um well I can’t say she was thrilled at first. But then in the end she actually paid for half of my ticket. Yes, I am aware that I have the best mother ever. She is just a little too obsessed with making yours truly happy, which has meant sending me to far away lands far away from her. I am so grateful that she has allowed me to grow on my own, constantly dream big, and travel far even though it means she sees me less. Thanks mom for letting me go and supporting my wacky decisions!!! Also, thanks to my family for not hating me, too much! ;)
All of that said, vacation was amazing. I think I knew it would be when I got on my plane and every time someone said Seattle a Frat like boy in the seat behind me would say “Ohhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhh Seattle. YOU WILL LOVE IT.” Here is why (in no particular order):
- The west coast is beautiful, green, and the temperature was in the 70’s in August. Glorious weather!
- Froyo and coffee (courtesy of either the amazing Keurig (sp?) machine in Tricia’s house . Or the coffee shops on every corner.) Food in general.
- Hiking Mount Townsend.
- Spending time with Tricia and her family at their amazing, stunning house. (They are incredible people. Thanks familia Serg!!!!!!)
- The gloriousness of Target and stocking up on the USA goodies I missed. (plus getting some amazing and very necessary clothing aka underwear).
- Comfortable, stress free, without a care in the world waking up at 10 a.m. and spending the day lounging on the couch watching cable and eating good food.
- Having no responsibilities, commitments, things I had to do, people I had to see (no offense), work, etc. Just time to be.
- Seeing the city of Seattle! I cannot wait to go back.
- Being able to leave the house in whatever I wanted at whatever time I wanted to do whatever I wanted. Complete freedom! No rules (well kind of, you know). I was thankful for the rules of the road, but that’s a whole different conversation.
- Batman. Yes, it was that good. And getting froyo afterwards.
- One more for good luck…getting my MAC fixed. Thank you Bryan!!!!!!
I don’t think I need to say it anymore. The states was good, too good. It was the perfect vacation and I am so grateful to Tricia and her family for letting me crash their time together. The only thing that sucks about vacation is that it ends. And you come back to a frightening reality that is life as a PCV in El Salvador. I don’t want to sugar coat it. Coming back sucks. And it sucks for a week or more. Now that does not mean that I don’t like it here, that I don’t want to be here, and I want to give up life as a volunteer. I just mean that it is a challenging readjustment period. And although you are excited to come back, see your Salvadoran friends and family as well as other volunteers, have more adventures (in comparison to the potential job you would probably have (if your lucky to have a job in the states), and do your work here, that excitement wears off quickly when you realize the comforts you left behind in comparison to the lack of comforts here. It takes about a week or two to forget those comforts and get back into the volunteer “I can deal with it” mode. But as soon as you forget and let it go, things look a lot better. I am getting there. I am lucky that the transition has been made easier by not only being welcomed by my loving family, tremendous youth group, and friends but also jumping right into work again, which I will document in the next post! Until then, enjoy some froyo for me!
|On top of the Seattle Space Needle!|
|Hiking Mount Townsend!|
|Paz en the wildflowers!|