As usual, it has taken me a few days to adjust to being back in the US. After all, during the eight months I spent in Mexico, I just didn’t have to deal with such things as mega-stores the size of some small countries, endless conversations about money and careers, and television ads for flavor-changing chewing gum. Seriously, flavor-changing gum? Who needs this?

But on the other hand, while in Mexico, I was never able to entertain the idea of going to Disney World for the first time in twenty years, I couldn’t order a new batch of contact lenses because of the virtually non-existent mail service down there and I wasn’t able to spend a Sunday visiting a local art festival along the water with my mom (see above photo).

So while I’m forced to re-acquaint myself with what I now find to be some strange aspects of life in the US, I’m also able to accomplish quite a lot of what I simply couldn’t do before. And in typical Earl style, I’ve been trying to accomplish as much as possible during my first week as I simply never know for how long I’ll be sticking around.

Actually, this morning was the first morning that I decided to slow down and sleep in and I thoroughly enjoyed getting out of bed at 10:00am. I needed it. In fact, as a result of that long sleep, my allergies, which I only suffer from when I return to the US each time (here’s an article I once wrote about this phenomenon), have finally begun to subside.

Would I say that it feels good to be back in the US? Well, I won’t lie to you, after 11 years of constant travel, I feel more comfortable roaming around the back alleys of Yangon at night than I do walking around the shopping malls of Florida at eleven in the morning. With that said, I don’t mind being here, and I certainly am looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I just don’t think I could manage to stay here permanently at this point. And I would also be lying if I said that I wasn’t spending a significant amount of time each day thinking about the adventures that will take place once I am able to leave the US again.

Whether that’s due to my still strong desire to explore as much of the world as possible or the fact that I find it troubling that in the US it’s easier to find a fast-food restaurant than fresh fruit juice, I just don’t know.

And how long I will be staying in Florida and in the US in general this time around depends on some appointments, the first one of which is scheduled for 2:30pm tomorrow.

I for one am eager to see how it turns out…


Before I finish this short post, I just want to mention a few other bloggers that I’ve connected with recently and I want to share the particular posts that helped turn their sites into some of my favorites: – If you’re planning on traveling anywhere with a laptop, Anil’s “Traveler’s Guide to Locking Down Your Laptop” series of posts is essential reading. Anil knows his stuff and I’ve followed much of his advice to ensure that my laptop, data and personal information is as well-protected, and even well-hidden, as possible. Before I read his posts, I had no idea that much of what he discusses even existed! Here’s the links to all three parts of the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (it’s worth checking out all 3 parts!)

Todd’s Wanderings – Any blog with ‘Wandering’ in the title catches my attention and when I read Todd’s post about whether or not travelers should give money to beggars, I was hooked. (You can read that post here.) Somehow, he managed to turn a difficult dilemma that few people like to discuss into a well-written, open-minded post. And the comments that resulted also add a great deal to this discussion. Overall, this fellow wanderer has an excellent, excellent travel blog.

Vagabond Quest – Dina and Ryan have recently (as in today!) begun a new series on their blog that shares the collective advice and feedback of many other world travelers. The first post in the series involves having several travelers listing the 3 travel gadgets that they simply cannot travel without. Combine this interesting series with Dina and Ryan’s open-minded explorations, which they write about with a wonderfully positive slant, and this is a great feel-good blog to follow.

There are literally dozens of more blogs that I’d love to mention and I will at some point. For now, please check out my Links Page for a more comprehensive list of some of the blogs I enjoy following (I couldn’t possibly list them all!).

And if you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new blogs to ‘discover’…

Before I forget, if anyone lives (or will be visiting) the NYC, Boston or South Florida area in the near future, please let me know. I’d love to meet up with as many people as possible on this trip!