It seems no matter where we live, we yearn to experience cultures that are different from ours, from far away places, places that are not easily accessible, places that seem out of reach, and places that take us away from our everyday life so we can experience what others are doing, seeing, smelling, living.
It is so for me.
Everywhere I go, everywhere I live, I search for sights and signs of home. I go on the hunt for an Asian grocery store, I scope out the most authentic places to eat. And I seek out people who will share the experience with me - just to remind me of where I came from.
I find that a lot of people are searching for the same thing and it is so in Washington DC. This is Chinatown and though I'm not Chinese, I find a multitude of all different types of Asian restaurants, including some from my own home country of Thailand. It brings a little bit of my childhood to my adulthood, many miles and many years apart.
The sights and smells are the same and the neon signs blink as brightly here in Washington DC as they do in Bangkok, Thailand. In the month of August, I can close my eyes and swelter in the heat and the smells just the same and I could be back in the Pratunam Market as well as smack in the middle of the capital of the United States.
It is in these times the I long to be back in Thailand, if only for a short while. I can't get it out of my blood. You can take the girl out of Nakonsawan - well you know the rest.
I wonder about my own children, how will they be reminded of where they "come" from? We have been nomads for most of their childhood, moving from state to state and country to country until finally settling down in the mundane neighborhood of suburban Maryland. Are we short changing them? Are we depriving them of the multi-multiculturalism that defines the "well traveled" and "worldly?"
Will they have the memories that I have, the yearning to explore and to experience?
I find that a home to come to is more important, thus our decision to "stay put." But I do want to cultivate that longing and yearning that comes from a wanderlust heart - one that searches far and wide if only to come home again, wherever that may be.
Cheers to all my Vision and Verb ladies who live far away in exotic places, my heart longs to be with you.