After traveling for ages and revisiting all of the wonderful people in the United States, it was finally time for my family to return to Chiang Mai. In order to do this, we had to fly on three different flights. The first one, coming from Chicago and going to Shang Hai, took fifteen hours, which was actually more time than it had taken to arrive in Chicago in the first place. After that, the flight from Shang Hai to Bangkok took around four hours. From then it was super simple. A single hour’s flight to Chiang Mai. I figured I could handle that, even though I don’t enjoy flying and I had practically begun to drive myself crazy with my own ridiculous thoughts. I soon found out that the layover was going to be the boring and annoying time in my travels.
We landed in Bangkok at around 1:30am, but our next flight didn’t leave until 8:00am that same morning. I was about ready to have a breakdown. Thoughts were raging through my head. “I have to stay here HOW long? What am I supposed to DO while lying around on a bunch of uncomfortable chairs? I haven’t eaten an actual meal for ages. I think I’m going to pass out..”
Of course, none of this spilled from my mouth. I already knew that my mom had plenty to deal with, so I didn’t mention it, other than the occasional (okay, frequently repeated) question of how long it would be until we boarded or what time it was currently. I slept some, and everything seemed to be okay.
While we were unloading luggage and heading into the baggage claim, I spotted my dad waiting for us, and I had to fight myself to not just run over to him and let everyone else take care of the bags.
Once we had gotten everything, we headed to my dad, and I just about cried. The exhaustion of having travelled for so long, living out of a suitcase. The sadness I felt, knowing that Hannah was in another country and I wouldn’t see her until Christmas. The sorrow I felt at all the goodbyes I was forced to say, and now here was my amazing father whom I’d missed with all my heart. I’d held back tears for such a very, very long time. Only a couple of times on the trip had I cried, and the major reason was having to say the very first “goodbye” to my sister. I forced the tears back into my eyes and hugged my dad with all my might.
We then drove back to our house, and I was happier than I had been in quite a while. It’s my floor, my curtains, my living room, my bed! I didn’t realize just how much I missed my bed until I lazily flopped on top of it and found it very difficult to stand up again.
And so, here I am. Back in Chiang Mai. It’s hard to say what it is to me exactly, because I don’t know for sure. It’s a home, of sorts, and yet, at the same time, it isn’t. But, no matter what, I am so, so thankful to be back!