Returning to America after four years in Europe

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Speak Up, Ladies

The Female Expat Project has added an audio blog component.

Creator Joelle Dietrick at UC San Diego has invited all of us one-time or current female expats to speak our minds and hearts on living abroad.

I received this from Joelle today:
"As you know, when we hop around the globe, our understanding of place and self are completely transformed. I’ve recently set up an audio blog (http://www.female-expat.org/audioblog/blog) where you can record your comments about expat life directly into your computer without having to download any software. It’s completely free and just an opportunity to gather ourselves in a virtual space since we are so far apart. There is a more traditional forum connected to the site at http://www.female-expat.org/_exp_respond/fepforum/index.html, but hearing the variety of voices filled with pauses filled with meaning seem more powerful. If enough women participate, maybe we can gather the audio for a documentary video or artwork about life overseas."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Vacation, American Style

I just returned from my first vacation since repatriating. I spent a glorious week on the East Coast - making the rounds with friends from various chapters.

I saw the never benign or boring Eric in New York. We share of love of bourbon, Egon Schiele and the Wall Street Journal. Despite an aborted trip out of the city, we managed to amuse ourselves in Manhattan by doing, well, as little as possible. Turning off the phone and computer for two days was a dream.

I then spent several days playing second chair house wife in Maryland, where I caught up with one of my best friends, Courtney, and her two small children. We all went down to Baltimore for a day to see Kim and Rob run the marathon. They both turned in great times and managed to hobble to an ice cream later that day. I also squeezed in one night in Washington, D.C. to see Sarah, a dear friend from my days in Prague who has just started a master's degree program at American.

Travel - even when I don't go anywhere new - always makes me want more. It shakes me like snow globe, turning everything upside down. Now I find myself dreaming of trips to Paris and Polynesia.

The melancholy of my return has only been mitigated by news that Mom and David from Scotland will appear in November - both arriving on maybe the same day and here for Thanksgiving, my first stateside since 2000.