Our recent trip back to California was so refreshing. It provided a long awaited bit of respite for the soul for all of us. We had looked forward to the trip for some time and were so excited when the time finally came for us to return to our beloved country, even if it was only for a few weeks.
I have traveled quite a bit in my short life and never have I felt so honored and blessed to be an American. I am ashamed to say that, prior to my experience in Abu Dhabi, I took the luxuries of the United States for granted.
Our flight to the US was quite strenuous. We traveled for 30 hours with 20 of those hours being flight time. Izzy was a real trooper. She hardly fussed the whole time despite our sometimes cramped conditions. The travel time took a lot out of Pete and I. We were exhausted by the time we landed in California. Nevertheless, we could not take our eyes off the beautiful landscape during our descent into Sacramento. As we both peered out the window we looked at eachother and almost in unison stated, "So two years, not three," (referring to our time commitment in Abu Dhabi).
While at home we held many question and answer sessions about the life, culture and our feelings about Abu Dhabi. Each time someone would ask us, "So how is it over there? Do you like it?" We would respond, "NO!" While away our contempt for Abu Dhabi really shined through.
We were able to fit so much into our time at home. We caught up with friends, attended a wedding, experienced the joys of western medicine, and even took a trip down to San Diego to visit Charlie before heading back to Abu Dhabi.
We were both dreading the trip back. We didn't only not look forward to the flight time, but being back meant we were back to the daily grind; the depressing life of Abu Dhabi. Our flight back went just as seemlessly as our trip to California and despite all our complaining about the desert and the frustrations of life, as we descended into Abu Dhabi we couldn't help but think, "It's good to be HOME." As strange as it sounds this is HOME for now and we will make the best of it while we can.