The group blog WWAM BAM just published my post A World of (Familiar) Wonder: How Living Abroad Changed My View of Home. Here’s an excerpt:
The velvety expanses of grass, and the rolling hills blanketed in oaks and maples still commanded my attention hours after leaving the airport, like a child who had never seen them before. As we traveled along the highway, my eyes remained fixed on these grand natural landscapes all around us. And I wanted to soak in every single detail, from the different shades of green to the way the leaves seemed to shimmer in the July sunshine, set against a sky so blue it looked computer generated.
The whole scene felt like a dream, and even I wondered if I would suddenly awaken and find myself back in bed, somewhere else far removed from all this, even though it shouldn’t have thrown me into such a reverie. After all, this was the land of my childhood — the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, the place I had grown up and called home for a good portion of my life.
So what had changed? Simple — I lived in China now, and it was my first trip back to the US in years.
It’s amazing how putting down roots in another country can transform your perspective on places you knew so intimately, to the point where they can enchant you all over again, like a first-time visitor. Where you forget all of the imperfections, the warts, the problems of the past and simply appreciate the scenery in that moment. It happens to me every time I come back to the US from China for a visit, and no matter the season, these landscapes of my childhood turn into something shiny and new.
To read the full piece, head on over to WWAM BAM. And if you like it, share it!
Photo credit: By Niagara66 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51712992