(Can you spot the Sandhill Cranes?)

Florida is colder than I imagined, though I suspect that may be due to the potent combination of rain clouds and my delicate sunflower of a personality. If these 75° were accompanied by sunshine, I would be running around in short-sleeved exultation, but as it is, I’m nursing my jet lag with special roast (what makes it special, I wonder?) and trying to summon the energy to decide on an outfit.

Portrait of jetlag

My trip here was mercifully smooth. No luggage was lost, no flights were missed, and my eardrums did not explode on the plane despite threatening to for a solid four eternities (I picked up some of these for the return trip and hope to goodness they work as advertised). Re-entry was emotionally smoother than I expected as well. I remember the sudden, swooping disillusion of my first visit to the U.S. after we moved to Italy—how everything looked too big, how I stuttered over my native tongue, how conspicuous and foreign I felt. This time, American soil feels familiar. Not home exactly, but welcoming all the same.

My days start the same in every country

It’s easy to forget in all the day-to-dayness of life that I’m an expat, a transplantee. People often come to my blog expecting to read about life abroad, and I wonder if I should apologize for not writing about it more. Perhaps it’s like being married to a celebrity; you know in the back of your mind that he’s one of Hollywood’s 50 sexiest men and a recurring figure in daydreams worldwide, but your immediate focus is balancing your checkbooks or working through an argument or coordinating your school pick-up schedules. I’m don’t think it’s possible to remain starstruck with the everyday. However, trips like this help prod my awareness out of hibernation, and for that I am grateful… and in dire need of more special roast.

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  1. Fun, insightful post! Enjoy your visit. Happy New Year! xo

  2. How funny about your comparison of your blog to a being married to a celebrity. I know what you mean, and often feel I should be writing more about my experiences in Sweden, but honestly, I feel past that…after 14 years, especially. Too true!

  3. Mmmmm, special roast.
    1. I think they just like to call it that.
    For no reason, probably.
    Maybe it’s to make you feel special!! 😉

    2. You’re really cute.
    3. I’m sooo glad your ears didn’t explode. That would’ve been horrible.
    4. I love the comparison of blog/sexy celebrity husband. 🙂

  4. oops.
    didn’t put my url in. 😛
    have a lovely time in florida! i’ve never been there.

  5. wow – I’ve never managed to match my mug to my sweater, it must be subtle italian influences…. :}

  6. she’s here!!!
    *stars in eyes*

  7. Even though it is not the focus of your blog, I still learn all kinds of things about Italy. (And Sweden too, Liz.) I think it is sad that you have rain, but 75 degrees!?! Oh, GEEZ. I WISH. Today in MN: it is NINE degrees. I love pajama pants, but you already knew that. Hope you are having a great trip! What books are keeping you company?

  8. But you ARE writing about being abroad, from our perspective.

    I love going home, but I also tend to rush back gratful that I am leaving the strange sensation that home is England in the 80s…and they just don’t have flights to then.

  9. Nino – Thanks and Happy New Year to you too!

    Liz – 14 years, wow. You’re a veteran! I should probably go through your archives sometime, but were you more aware of the charm of international life when you first moved there?

    Beka – Now that you mention it, I do feel kind of special drinking it. 🙂 (P.S. – I love your comments, dear.)

    SJ – Unintentional too, but since the mug, the sweater, and its wearer were all American, I’m not sure Italy had much influence.

    Rain – “Here” is relative, but stars are in my [puffy] eyes too.

    Megsie – Good grief, 9 degrees? You say things like that, and I honestly have no idea what that would be like. Our 40-degree winters in Italy are cold enough for me! Re: books: I read “The Lost Symbol” on the plane, which, meh. Yesterday though, I stole “The Hunger Games” from my brother-in-law and thoroughly enjoyed it; I’ll have to figure out how to get my hands on the sequels before the movies come out.

    Sarah – I guess that’s true, the old home turf becomes the new abroad… and I know what you mean about the oddity of feeling it’s the wrong decade. (For me, it’s only a few years removed, but still.)

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