We are back home in Tokyo again after another round of travel. My husband had a business trip to Chattanooga, so I went back with him to spend a few days at our home in Atlanta. He had to go on to another meeting in London, but I stayed in Atlanta for the Fourth of July holiday, and we met back here at Narita Airport yesterday.
All this travel seems to go in spurts… starting with our trip to Germany in January, Russia in April, Atlanta in May, then South Korea and Atlanta again in June. We have more travel coming up in the late summer with trips back and forth to South Korea and a trip to Budapest, and late October will bring another trip to Atlanta for our daughter’s wedding. It has been interesting to be able to do all of this travel… and I really want to take advantage of it while I can. I know that these travel opportunities will end when we move back to our “other life” in Atlanta. I enjoy traveling for the most part… packing and unpacking aren’t so much fun, and long hours on an airplane can be uncomfortable and tedious, and jet lag can be awful too… but being able to navigate myself through airports and public transit in foreign countries, and experiencing different countries and cultures has been fun!
Above are a few photos from Atlanta… Since I was there for the Fourth of July, I was able to run the Peachtree Road Race 10K again. This is something my husband and I — and our children — have participated in for many years… I think this was my 15th time running the Peachtree. It is always a huge part of the Fourth of July celebration in Atlanta, and it is an amazing sight to see 60,000+ runners moving along Peachtree Street. This year was exceptionally hot and humid — even for Atlanta — but it was a fun way to cap off my visit “home.”
However, the hardest part of traveling back to Atlanta is having to transition between our life here in Tokyo, and our life there in the US. It is another thing that we never really considered when we moved here. It is almost like we are living two separate lives right now. We still own a home there — but our daughter is leasing it from us and taking care of it for us while we are away. So… when we go back… yes… we go “home,” but it isn’t really our home right now. It still has our furniture and most of our “stuff,” but she has moved into the master bedroom, and brought in a lot of her own stuff. We stay in a “guest” room. It is very weird — and a bit unsettling actually — to be guests in our own house. She is doing a fine job taking care of the place, and maintaining it for us… but it just doesn’t feel right to be there. I miss my home… I miss my stuff… but it isn’t really mine right now. I know this is only temporary — and it is only “stuff” after all — but it is difficult. It makes going “home” just a bit stressful for me.
Our life here in Tokyo is so different from our life there. I miss a lot of things about our life in Atlanta, but when I get back here, it is like all of those feelings go back into the closet along with my suitcase, and I don’t think about it again until the next time I go back. Our “life” here is much smaller than our “life” there. Our tiny apartment… just a fraction of our belongings… no car… We live very simply here. And I enjoy that. And as much as I enjoyed being “home” in Atlanta, and seeing family and celebrating a holiday, I was happy to get back here to our “home” in Tokyo.