I had hoped to write the day I returned; then I told myself the one-week point. Finally, I promised myself that the one-month mark would be the exact right moment. All has passed. And what first felt like a crisp, raw adventure in Southeast Asia when we arrived back in LAX on the eve of August 4th, now feels most certainly like a dream. A dream I woke up from long ago, a dream that exists only in memory.
I wanted to tell tales of our last morning in the Angkor Wat ruins when we watched the light turn from the black of cloud covered stars to the soft gray of dawn, with monks chanting and the hallowed feeling of being alone atop an 8th century Hindu-Buddhist temple adding to the eerie calmness already cast by lion statue silhouettes.
I was eager to spin one last yarn about a final bus ride and border crossing from Siem Reap to Bangkok that managed to put all previous ground transportation experiences to frightful-bumpy-claustrophobic shame. And my taste buds remained ready to remember the final plate of Pad-Thai noodles which we ate in a hurry of enjoyment moments before our Big Pink Taxi whisked us back to the airport, our first morning in rewind. I so desperately wanted to confirm that the first blog entry I wrote after the taxi ride in the other direction, nearly two months prior, came entirely true and proved entirely false.
Frankly, if not for the lingering infected mosquito bite (or maybe it’s a cockroach egg nest festering) still turning red and itchy on my calf muscle, I might actually believe that the whole magical seven weeks was a complete impossibility, an incepted memory, a taunt for what could be if only I would take the first step.
But fortunately, three months ago today, I did take that first step. I locked the door of our home, smelled our roses good-bye and watched our little abode vanish in the rear-view mirror. To travel, to travail, to savor the world, it turns out, happens quite simply: just put one foot in front of the other and the journey will carry you right off to dreamland.