Yes, it’s been some time since I’ve updated my space. After being thrust into the holidays, new schools, and home improvements and repairs, I am finally ready to recount our adventures returning stateside. Thanks for reading.
“Welcome back,” the customs agent muttered, barely pausing from studying our passports. Our half-hearted smiles were not noticed. There was no excitement, no fireworks, no fanfare.
There’s nothing like the experience of being welcomed home at the Los Angeles Airport (LAX). In New Zealand and Australian airports many people offered to help me. It’s obvious that I need help with my 2 year old strapped to my back and my 4 old doing the best she could to keep up with my quick strides. In Australia, people offered to help whether or not I was with my husband. In LAX, while rushing to make our connection I was separated from my husband. 2 bags dropped from my rolling trolley. 2 people waiting for taxis, simply stood there and watched me bend over and retrieve them while I balanced Colin on my back and herded Claire away from oncoming traffic. It was a slap in the face. It was incredibly upsetting and continues to make my stomach turn.
Abroad, I felt a connection with fellow American citizens. At home, I feel nothing.
Next, after removing every piece of bulky clothing, shoes and re-checking liquids, “female check!” was shouted across the security lines. Fabulous. A strange substance was found on my swabbed hands. “Where have you been?” the TSA agent asked. “On an airplane for the past 18 hours with my mini entourage… you?” On my first day home in AmericaI became intimate with a TSA agent behind a black curtain while my kids sat looking dazed and confused.
Why do I feel less safe with more security? The first thing we miss aboutAustralia: the ease of travel.
A large sigh of relief was sounded when we finally arrived at our house in New Jersey. Our home. My bed couldn’t have been more comfortable. My bed inMelbourne always felt temporary. I stretched my arms and legs and fell into a deep sleep.
6 weeks home and my kids are asking when we are flying on an airplane again. Ah, travel withdrawl. We trained them well. Me? I move to plan our next summer vacation… that doesn’t involve an airplane.
Welcome home, Family In Oz.