Leaving the USA. My ticket says one-way.

Life isn’t about where you’ve been, it’s where you are and where you’re going.

My next stop is familiar turf.

Last time I was there, it was a few months back. After an uncomfortable seat on an overly long bus ride that followed a sleepless too-long red eye flight, I stopped into a local store for some Ibuprofen. The checkout clerk said she could open it right there and asked if I needed a glass of water. Same city, a few weeks later: I arrived from visiting friends in another country and walked into a theatre 45 minutes after curtain because I hadn’t accounted for a time change. The house manager comped me for the next night’s performance. And…by the third time I’d gone to a local coffee shop, they knew my name, order and which local newspaper I preferred. Don’t have too many experiences like that in many parts of the world.

Have you ever been in a place where you feel roots growing from the soles of your feet? A place that’s new to you, but familiar in almost every way? Where things you’ve never experienced before are more like comfortable reminders and reassurance than surprises? I’ve had this experience in a number of places on a number of continents through the years – even in the US of A. Now it’s time to stay a lot longer in one of these homes.

Am I abandoning America? For better or worse, not really. It’s hard to ignore a world power that collects enemies by the hour and is constipated by a political polarization that’s banished mutual respect from public dialogue. I’m simply moving toward another phase of my life, which happens to be in another country. I still have some wonderful friends in the US – all of whom are welcome to fly or swim over to visit me. Let’s face it, I won’t be able to avoid news of the red white & blue unless I move to a cave, which isn’t in my current plans. [Don’t think I’d have too many house guests if I did this.]

Am I abandoning my past? Of course not. My past is the platform I’ve built that’s allowing me to take this step. The people, places, good, bad and ugly parts of my life have made me who I am. They’ve created ties that will bring me back over the years for one reason or another. But it’s also given me the eyes and wings [ok, frequent flyer miles] to see what’s outside this self-referential closet we call the USA. As the song goes,

Where am I going?
I don’t know.
When will I get there?
I don’t care.
All that I know is I am on my way.

!Hasta la vista, y’all!   [Oops, sorry, wrong language. I’m heading east, not south, on this trip.]

Beannacht anois!

Any fellow travelers out there?

9 Comments on “Leaving the USA. My ticket says one-way.

  1. I’m humming: I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…
    Best wishes as you start another new chapter in your life.
    (& Aiken, SC is like the place you mentioned in your opening…as we say: if you’re lucky enough to live in Aiken, you’re lucky enough!)

  2. …best of wishes follow you (to a place I’d love to see myself). This will make your posts here all the more valued.

  3. Glad for you, my friend! Happy Trails. Yippee Yi Ki Oh!

  4. It has been great fun reading your posts and getting to know you through them. While we’ve crossed some path interceptions, knowing nothing of your earlier self, it is remarkable that through your posts you have begun to be someone very real. I wish you a great success in your new move. I look forward to you sharing more of your journeys through the wonders of the Internet!

  5. Bon Voyage Jim. I look forward to seeing the world through your eyes.

  6. I wanted to say something about wanderlust, but then I saw the “Adult store” sign in photo background. Well, anyway, when the news of Percy Sledge’s passing broke, I could not help but think of our old sidekick, Andre Klein. Safe travels, my friend. Loving the posts from Scene on My Way.

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