Weeklyish Challengey Thingie: Decide What To Do With My Life (Yes, Again)

May 1, 2012

It’s that time of year again, folks.

Time to decide what the heck I’m doing with my life.

My semester-long contract at the university where I’m currently teaching in China is quickly coming to an end, and I’ve had to decide if I’m sticking around another semester or moving on.

Doesn’t it seem like I was just hemming and hawing over this very same decision like six months ago? And, then, like six months before that?

Umm, probably because I was.

This time, though, things were a bit different. I hardly hemmed and hawed at all. Okay, maybe I hemmed a bit. But I swear there was absolutely no hawing.

You see, my mind has been made up for some time now.

This is kind of a new thing for me as I’m not really into making up my mind. At least not in any kind of timely fashion. Most of my decisions require me writing up endless lists of reasons why I should do one thing. And then endless reasons why I should do another thing. And then a bunch of reasons why I should really stop writing up reasons and just come up with a decision already.

Even figuring out what I want for breakfast can take me a good thirty minutes. I mean, deciding between sweet and savory is really, really hard, you guys. Especially when it’s before noon and I haven’t even had any coffee. And then as soon as I tell the waitress that, yes, I do want the Eggs Benedict, I’m instantly filled with regret and mournful thoughts of all the pancakes I won’t be eating.

Sweet or savory? That is the question.

Deciding stuff is hard, people.

But not this time.

This time I knew what I wanted to do.

I wanted to go home.

Yep, home-home.

Take that, Thomas Wolfe.

My plan at the moment is to go home to Buffalo this summer. While there, I’m hoping to get a short-term teaching position for a semester or two –  enough time to hang out with my family and friends, get some work done on my writing, and, you know, eat lots of cheese.

And then I’ll head overseas again.

Of course, this plan could always change. The last time I said I was going home for “a little while,” I ended up staying there for five years.

And I really kind of loved it.

Yay, Buffalo!

I got to eat a lot of Sunday dinners with my family.

I made a lot of great friends.

I started performing improv comedy again.

I went to grad school.

I dated boys. And I didn’t even have to trick them into dating me.

And I ate a lot of cheese.

Mmm, cheese, how I miss you.

I can imagine worse fates, really.
Even though I’ve known I wanted to go home for some time now, that doesn’t mean deciding to leave China was an easy decision.

It wasn’t.

I’ll miss a lot of things about my life in China.

I’ll miss the parks that surround the campus where I live.

I’ll miss my favorite bubble tea place and my favorite fruit vendor and my favorite pork sandwich place.

Mmmm, pork.

I’ll miss the few friends that I’ve made here.

I’ll miss my students — or at least a lot of them. Even though I’m not entirely sure they’ll miss me as I’m always doing annoying stuff like giving them homework. And the other week one of my students gave me a knife, and I’m still not sure if it was a gift or a threat.

Either this says, "Thanks for teaching me! Here's a present" or "Give me a good grade or I'll cut you."

I’ll miss all the lovely local people I’ve met — especially the taxi drivers. This past weekend, one of them told me I smelled better than a new car. I mean, seriously, how could a girl not miss sweet talk like that?

And, well, there’s my couch. I’m really going to miss my couch.

How am I ever going to be able to leave THIS?

Even though the decision was a hard one, I know it’s the right one for me right now.

I’m really looking forward to being home for the holidays this year for the first time in five years.

Sure, my trusty stand-in, Sally-On-A-Stick, has managed to attend quite a few hometown festivities in my absence over the past five years.

Enjoying some tasty Buffalo treats.

But, after five and a half years, she’s starting to look a bit ragged around the edges. After all, partying can take a lot out of a girl – especially if that girl happens to be made out of cardstock and a popsicle sticks.

And I’m really starting to doubt her judgment. Especially when I see photos of her like this on Facebook.

Just another night on the town... or a plea for help?

I’m also really looking forward to spending some time with my nieces and nephews.

I feel like I need to go home now while they’re still little. You know, and still really easy to impress.

The last time I went home I gave one of my nephews a huge Ziploc bag full of coins from every country I had visited. And I taught my nieces how to put stickers on their toes.

Best. Aunt. Ever.

This pretty much made me the most awesome aunt alive.

In a few more years, they’ll be teenagers, and I have a feeling the only way I’ll be able to win them over then is by buying them iPads or booze. And I can’t really afford to buy them all iPads. Not that I’m saying I’d buy them booze. But I may, you know, fill up an empty bottle with Kool-Aid and tell them that it’s Boone’s Strawberry Hill just so I can keep a little bit of my cool aunt street cred. Just don’t tell my brothers and sister that. (Hey, siblings, just kidding. Ha ha. Really. I would never give your kids fake booze. Unless you were cool with that. By the way, are you cool with that?)

And I’m also really looking forward to seeing lots of my old friends again. Sure, I’m worried that many of these friendships have changed since I’ve been gone.

But, you know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder.

Well, you know what else makes the heart grow fonder?


Distance, schmistance.

So I’m sure as long as there’s plenty of wine around during our reunions, we’ll be good.

And, okay, maybe I’m really looking forward to all the cheese.

Have you ever gone home again after an extended period away? How did it go?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On May 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm Pamm said:

    I am sure you will enjoy the kids when they are small. To them, I was always 21, till my Mom spilled the beans and told them I was 50.

    And I taught them that my real name was “Pammy, Oh Great Queen of the Universe,” which they always had to use in public.

    Now the youngest is even in college, but for Christmas she found a coffee mug that said, “As a matter of fact, I am the effing Queen”.

    So train them while they are young. Besides, when you are old, who do you think will take care of you?

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:57 am Sally said:

      Mwahahaha. I love it. I think “Sally, Princess of Goodness & Light” would make for a lovely title. And I’m totally telling them I’m 21 forever.

  2. On May 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm Joseph said:

    Well, I’ve never been away from home for a long period of time (the most was 3 and a half months). I spent 3 summers in the US and each time I came home I felt depressed…I just couldn’t adjust…but in the end I gave in, and lived my life here (while screaming in my head “I WANT TO GO BACK….NOW!!!!)…and come to think of it, this summer I’m heading back to home away from home – good old US…so I’m looking forward to meeting new people, seeing new things, drinking Long Island Ice Tea, I mean, tea (ahem)! Speaking of which, what would you say of hanging out with moi if I’m in your neck of the woods? hmm?
    Joseph recently posted..The need of approval

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:56 am Sally said:

      Yes, I would love to meet up if we’re in the same area at some point. That’s one thing I’m looking forward to doing while I’m back in the States — meeting some of the awesome people I’ve connected with over my blog… and then make them buy me drinks. You WERE going to buy me a drink, right? 🙂

      • On May 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm Joseph said:

        You bet I would buy you a drink…hey, we can even call it a date, what do you say? 😉 and that is just because you called me awesome, as we’ve connected through your blog…or at least I think you did think I’m awesome, after all I’m buying the drinks 😀 speaking of which, around what time will you be available? I’m flying to the US mid July, spending a couple of days in NY, then heading in other directions
        Joseph recently posted..The need of approval

  3. On May 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm Rose said:

    Yay! Sally’s coming home! Yay!! Now you can get a goat for sure!

  4. On May 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm Lauren Garlapo said:

    i LOVE everything about this post.

  5. On May 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm Selly said:

    You aren’t allowed to stop blogging though, I most definitely need you to keep writing so I have something to read that makes me laugh out loud on the way home from work and almost shower my work computer in coffee (not that I would ever dream of reading your blog at work, I mean I’m working, there is absolutely no time for me to read anything!). I’m sure going home will be a lot of fun, even if we will all miss your hilarious China stories and trips to Japan! I tell ya, ship that couch back home while you still have a chance!!!

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:54 am Sally said:

      I don’t plan on giving up the blog. I’m sure there are plenty of challengey things I could make myself do in the States and then blog about it… like eating all the cheese and talking to boys.

  6. On May 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm Heather said:

    I didn’t head to China after Oz, but I can definitely make it to Buffalo!

    Enjoy the rest of your time in China and let’s keep talking about plans, writing, and domestic travel 🙂

  7. On May 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm Edna said:

    I laughed out loud at Sally on a Stick! Girl looks like she knows how to party.

    (PS, if you like cheese, you should make a trip to Paris. People here do things like “cheese tours.”)
    Edna recently posted..The 5 Best Things I Ate in France in April

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:53 am Sally said:

      Yes, she sure does. She’s seen some things in the past few years.
      And what is this Cheese Tour thing you speak of? I want to go to there!

  8. On May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm Feng Shui By Fishgirl said:

    here’s what i think you should do: go back to buffalo if you must, but get yourself down to NYC ASAP and apply to Dave Letterman as a writer. you are seriously funny and it’s the kind of intelligent humor Dave would appreciate. Apply there and also to SNL maybe even ELLEN. you could do it! 🙂

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:52 am Sally said:

      Aww, thanks! I don’t know if I have quite what it takes to do television comedy (mostly because I’m not really good about writing about anything else than myself… write about world events? wah? why? I’d much rather write about my couch… and lunch!), but I would love to take my writing to a more professional level and get published… and, hopefully, I’ll get more of a chance to do that while I’m back in the States. We’ll see!

  9. On May 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm James @ Fly, Icarus, Fly said:

    Say it ain’t so! Are there meatsticks in Buffalo? Where will you wear your pink pleather cop outfit (which I was highly disappointed not to see in this blog post, BTW)? And who will inherit your couch? These are burning questions we want to know the answer to. Or maybe you can prescribe a cream for the burn… I’m sure there are as many quirky things about Buffalo, minus the Glee Buddha Bellagio, of course. The end of an era.
    James @ Fly, Icarus, Fly recently posted..Home, Sweet, Home Chi Minh City

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:51 am Sally said:

      Hmmm… not sure about meatsticks. But Buffalo is famous for wings. And they have one of the largest county fairs, so I’m sure I won’t be at a loss for food-on-a-stick.
      Oh, and trust me the pink pleather cop outfit will be back… I’m just happy someone noticed it was missing. 🙂

  10. On May 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm Allison said:

    Going home is always super exciting! I’m excited for you… as long as you promise to write from home. I’ll miss your laugh out loud posts if you stop!
    Allison recently posted..Pho Lan :: Richmond Pho

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:50 am Sally said:

      Definitely. I’m actually really looking forward to blogging about home. Although, I’m not too sure how excited my family will be about this. Their secrets will never be safe with me. (Not like they were before, either.)

  11. On May 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm Daisy said:

    It’s hard to both leave the foreign country where you live, and to go back home. When I lived abroad, I missed all kinds of things about the US like crazy. I missed sassy TSA agents (“Oh no you didn’t just walk through that machine!!”), Mexican food, and people holding doors open for you. I also missed people who are actually helpful in stores, superficial chitchat and personal over-sharing, and inexpensive hard liquor.

    But after being back, I started to really miss the food, the way food gets wrapped up in pretty packaging, how even doing mundane things felt exciting, and how the money felt and looked like play money.

    But it sounds like you have been away for a while. Home is a good place to re-center until you get the itch to leave again. I will definitely miss your adventures in China, but I look forward to reading your adventures in Buffalo and beyond. Especially when there is cheese involved 😉
    Daisy recently posted..Moroccan-Style Brisket with Green Olives and Preserved Lemons

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:49 am Sally said:

      Oh, I’m already planning a whole cheese-based series. Or at least a few weeklyish challenges centered solely around cheese. 🙂

  12. On May 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm Katherina said:

    I haven’t managed to go back home yet (after 10 years abroad!), at least not longer than 2 months on a row… I guess that time is not enough to let the culture shock quick in again.

    However, as much as I’d love to be able to blend in at home and act as if I had never left, I can’t. Then again, I guess going back to the Canary Islands is not really like going back to Buffalo (I mean, on the whole island of Tenerife there are less than a million people and the next closest land is Africa!). I’m sure you’ll do great adapting! (and whatever you do, please don’t stop blogging!!)
    Katherina recently posted..Photo Essay: Hiking To Mirador Las Torres (Chile)

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:48 am Sally said:

      Yeah, I don’t imagine I’ll blend in much at home — but then again I don’t really plan on staying at home forever. Or at least that’s what I’m saying for now… who knows what I’ll say after I start eating all the cheese!

  13. On May 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm Heather Stearns said:

    Since I’ve only been doing long-term travel for a year, the longest I’ve been away is just 3 months to Berlin, Germany. However, when I returned, I felt like I’d been in a dream because my experiences there were so unfamiliar and exciting. Coming home was a gift; our family and friends were happy to see us so we picked up where we left off. Plus, we got to relive our adventures by telling stories and sharing photos.
    Since we come “home” (we don’t have a permanent residence or car) every few months, I’m getting used to the ebb and flow of travel. I’m grateful to reconnect but at the back of my mind, I can’t wait to set off on the next escapade!

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:47 am Sally said:

      Unfortunately, one problem with having a blog is that all my friends and family have already heard all my stories and seen my photos. I may have to stop over-sharing so much on my blog so I’ll actually have something to talk about when I go home!

      • On May 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm Naomi said:

        don’t agree, I found having a blog was great because friends and family had followed along and felt they had lived your trip vicariously with you, and really appreciated it. As for others, you get tired very quickly of telling the same stories again and again, so you could just give a quick overview and then direct them to your blog.
        looking forward to you making fun of the hometown quirks!
        Naomi recently posted..Navel gazing

  14. On May 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm hudson murrell said:

    Gotta miss the bubble tea…
    my home is … not sure. we moved around a lot. family is now in mid-Missouri. I have 2 or 3 friends there, but that’s also the case in SF, Seattle, NY, Hawaii, and London. You KNOW Hawaii or London calls me a bit before central MO. Just add another ‘o’ and get central Moo. Love the toenail stickers…is that a Chinese thing, or I wonder if they have that in Japan too. Hmmm.

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:45 am Sally said:

      I actually got the toenail stickers in Japan. You should be able to find them at any shop that sells nail stuff. LOFT was a particularly good place to buy them. And they always have a fun seasonal selection. You know, should you want your toenails to be decked out for spring in cherry blossoms and the like.

  15. On May 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) said:

    I fully subscribe to the notion that a woman’s prerogative is to change her mind and frequently use that as my excuse to waffle, flip-flop and generally just be indecisive. But sometimes decisions get made without even realizing they needed to be made because they just feel so right and so obvious.

    I just found your blog and have really been enjoying your hilarious tales of traveling and living in Asia, so I’m sad to hear you’ll be packing up for Buffalo. However, I somehow think that you’ll still find plenty to regale us with when you’re back on your home turf. Lord knows I can’t deny the siren call of dairy, so I can’t hold it against you. Like I always say: Home is where the Havarti is.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Book Review: The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:44 am Sally said:

      “Home is where the Havarti is.” Ha ha ha. LOVE it.
      I’m actually really looking forward to blogging from the States. I think living abroad for a long time gives you a fresh perspective on your home country. So it should be fun to be able to write about the States using that perspective. Plus, I’m going to be living in my parent’s barn, and my neighbors are going to be cows. So, really, if that doesn’t make for some fun blog posts, I don’t know what does!

  16. On May 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm Bobbi Lee Hitchon said:

    Yay for home! A few months ago I would have said, “DON’T DO IT!!” But I’m at that point in my journey as well, where home and family and friends just sound really nice. But if the plans change that’s okay too!
    Bobbi Lee Hitchon recently posted..Hump day photo: Rippon Vineyard

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:43 am Sally said:

      Yeah, a year ago, I don’t think I saw myself doing this at all — I was all like, “What country is next? Come on!”. But it just seemed like the right, natural decision for the time being.

  17. On May 2, 2012 at 2:14 am Dani Blanchette said:

    Im getting close to the ‘im running out of money i need to go home or become homeless but not in the cool im a traveler sort of way’ time now and im sad by it.

    But it will be nice to have Fluff and Nutella, and blueberries, and fresh fish (Medellin seems to have a phobia about it. also i looked up the name, but its a fear of fish or dead fish. and they like dead-super-fried-till-unrecognizable-as-fish-anymore fish)

    But i will miss South America and people here. And I need to make more money so i can travel more. oh, and i need to come back to do a Zombie Survival Training Course. They are going to teach me How to Procure (hotwire) Vehicles. YES!
    Dani Blanchette recently posted..I Love Croatia

  18. On May 2, 2012 at 2:37 am Andrea said:

    I’ve only been gone six months, but I just went home for a wedding and it was amazing! It was definitely hard to leave again. Have fun in MT, and enjoy the cheese!
    Andrea recently posted..Snapshots of Seattle

  19. On May 2, 2012 at 3:20 am Amy said:

    Such a hard decision but you can never go wrong with family that lives in Buffalo 🙂 now you can go to taste of buffalo or hit Thursdays at the Square which now is moved down to the wharf 🙂 or see Sting at Artpark … Or just eat your local pizza & wings …drinking labbats blue & reading various Buffalo blogs 🙂 artvoice or buffalorising…

    And if you need a “China” fix you can always visit Chinatown in Toronto…:) options you have waiting for you back home – cheers! Safe returns!!! I would totally buy you a beer or help you find a cool new couch to write about
    here in B-lo …

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:40 am Sally said:

      Mmm… pizza and wings. SO looking forward to that! And, yes, I should really start checking out the Buffalo blog-scene. I usually prefer personal blogs — have any suggestions?

  20. On May 2, 2012 at 4:10 am Christine | Grrrl Traveler said:

    Congrats on your journey of love!

    Coming home and re-starting your old life may feel like the bravest thing you do, however. LOL.

    I’m going through that now. After being abroad for close to 2 years, I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in and where I want to re-do in my life. It’s feels less exciting than expat life at the moment,… a big challenge, but I’m coming to find it’s something that would’ve been inevitable. Glad its now vs. later.
    Christine | Grrrl Traveler recently posted..Are you a street-smart traveler or just travel-jaded?

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:39 am Sally said:

      I think it IS going to be the bravest thing I have done. It was a really scary decision. You wouldn’t think it would be. But I truly think it would be a lot easier for me to stick it out in China. Even though I don’t know Chinese, at least I had a sure job & an apartment & people around to hang out with. I won’t have have any of that stuff when I return to the States. Plus, I’m worried that I’ll lose all my momentum to blog & write and just become one big, cheesy lump on my parent’s sofa. Not that this is a BAD thing… but still. Have you managed to keep up your momentum with your own projects while being at home?

  21. On May 2, 2012 at 4:17 am janet said:

    I’m at the point in my ‘travels’ where I’m definitely living here.
    “for good” or “permanently” is not in my vocabulary.. but as far as I know, I have MOVED to Manila, and I LIVE there now. Just like if I had moved to Idaho or something. Eventually, I need to visit my parents esp. since they’re getting old.. and they’re mega pressuring me about it. I mostly feel like I need to go back and visit out of obligation.
    janet recently posted..29 in 29 sale!

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:37 am Sally said:

      I imagine I’ll get to that point myself some day, but I have yet to find the country where I want to live permanently. Most places seem good for a couple years and then I get to antsy & want to move on!

  22. On May 2, 2012 at 4:23 am Izzy said:

    I must make a rather small selfish confession.

    I currently live and work in Japan and my work responsibilities primarily consist of doing nothing and sitting. I have become exceptionally skilled at doing nothing. But your hilarious blog is really distracting me (from my responsibilities of doing nothing).

    I was reading your blog yesterday in the teachers room and I kept having to stop reading because it kept making me laugh out loud!

    It is a fairly quiet staff room, and although my responsibilities consist of nothing and nothing I often like to fake that I am busy… And generally laughing and being busy don’t coincide.

    That being said, I assume you will continue to write.

    I just had to say, I think this blog is awesome and express my small confession 🙂

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:36 am Sally said:

      “Doing nothing and sitting” sounds EXACTLY like my first job in Japan — teaching English at a high school (well, mostly doing nothing and sitting… but occassionally I taught). Sadly, the fact that I was getting paid to do nothing was a bit lost on me as I was fresh out of college & it was my first “real job.” I left after a year because I felt like I was wasting my time… later I would regret this decision when I returned to the States & was working 2 jobs just to pay my rent. Hopefully, the same thing won’t happen to me this time when I return to the States!
      Keep up the “hard work”! I’ll have to check out your blog to see where in Japan you are.

  23. On May 2, 2012 at 4:32 am Lauren said:

    I really identified with this post because I, too, have been dealing with an overwhelming desire to return home (at least for a while), but mostly because I ALWAYS have that feeling of regret after ordering breakfast.
    Lauren recently posted..The Tragedy of King Danjong

    • On May 2, 2012 at 6:34 am Sally said:

      I know, right? It’s such a hard decision. If only I had more than one stomach… kind of like a cow…. I would never have to deal with this sweet versus savory debacle!

  24. On May 2, 2012 at 6:10 am Nomadic Chick said:

    I don’t even eat cheese and I support your cheese intake. And I support your desire to be home. Time for Sunday dinners, kids that aren’t yours demanding things and motherly kisses.

    I’ll miss ya buddy, but bon voyage! Oh wait, two more months left. I’ll hold my goodbye for later.
    Nomadic Chick recently posted..My Summer Plans: A Bull and Spain

  25. On May 2, 2012 at 7:36 am Mira @ NingboNights said:

    wow… awesome! going home when you WANT to go home AND looking forward to it! and doesn’t making such an important decision feel good? (i’m very bad at making decisions and then i’m always surprised at how good it feels to commit to something). i’ve been thinking about these things myself lately. i love living in china (or generally abroad … and have done so all my life) but something is missing. maybe that feeling of “home”. (cue: soaring music.) but i’m not sure where to start looking for it so i guess i’m pretty happy to battle it out some more here in china!!
    Mira @ NingboNights recently posted..Life Lately.

    • On May 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm Sally said:

      I love living abroad, too, so I imagine I’ll be doing it again…. soonish. But it will be nice to spend some time at home. I’ll be curious to see if it feels like “home” given the fact I’ve been gone so long!

  26. On May 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm Jeanie said:

    Oh gosh, I’m heading home after being away for two years and I am soooo nervous! So many things have changed since I left. Both of my siblings are now married with children. Some of my friends have moved.
    Here is a good book to read about repatriation, The Art of Coming Home by Craig Storti, it has some practical ideas to help the transition. Good luck!
    Jeanie recently posted..The Best Weekend Ever!

  27. On May 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm Steph said:

    I totally get where you’re coming from. We’re also headed home for awhile, although it didn’t take us nearly as long to get burned out. I decided after two xmases away from home I really ought to be home for one.

    Enjoy your time home and maybe we’ll actually run into each other in the states!
    Steph recently posted..Never Trust Anyone Over 30 (Except Me)

  28. On May 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm jan said:

    Take the couch!

  29. On May 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm Jeremy Branham said:

    That’s awesome Sally! Not that I am cursing China or saying “it’s about time you left!” Just glad that you made a decision and feel good about it. I am sure it will be strange going back home again and I am sure there will be highs and lows this summer. However, I am sure your friends and family will enjoy seeing you (as you will enjoy seeing them).

    Look forward to your next adventure for which you agonizingly plan, stress, and create lists about! 🙂
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..In a land of giants, we put on our kilts one leg at a time

  30. On May 3, 2012 at 2:51 am Peggy said:

    Its really fun to plan what you are going to do during your free time. Awesome picture of flower this is very lovely.

  31. On May 3, 2012 at 3:11 am Amitha Shetty said:

    Hi Sally, I am from India. Got to know of your blog after it won the “Best in Asia” title.Enjoy reading you.
    When I go back home on vacation, the pampering feels very good, not worrying about daily chores getting done is also a welcome break. But dad wud love it if I stayed home 24 hours..if I plan to meet my friends, there will be 10 questions and also a time by which I need to get back home.It can annoy me a wee bit coz not used to it when staying away from home with rommmates. 🙂

    • On May 3, 2012 at 5:33 am Sally said:

      Ha ha. Luckily, my parents don’t ask me many questions or make me stick to a curfew, but my mom always tells me to be careful when I go into the city because it’s “dangerous.” And she’s talking about Buffalo, NY, which is not exactly the crime capital of the world. Meanwhile, here I’ve been traveling all over the world doing who-knows-what, but she only ever worries about me when I’m at home. Ahh, parents!

  32. On May 3, 2012 at 4:35 am Ayngelina said:

    Buffalo? I’m so close in Toronto, we have to figure out a way to meet!
    Ayngelina recently posted..Would you, could you, rule a mule?

  33. On May 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm Ceri said:

    Tell me you’re going to keep blogging, right? Por favor? You’re one of my favourites, girl!

    No, but seriously, I’m glad you’re making the decision that’s right for you. 🙂 Though, you’re right – it does feel as though you were *just* trying to decide what to do. How did six months fly by? 😛

    I’d be interested to see where your next “overseas” place ends up being. 🙂
    Ceri recently posted..Life … Six Months Later

    • On May 4, 2012 at 1:32 am Sally said:

      Of course! I’ll definitely be keeping up the blog… if only so I have an excuse to eat tons of cheese so I can write about it later.

  34. On May 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm Ceri said:

    I don’t know why I felt the need to put overseas in quotations.
    Ceri recently posted..Life … Six Months Later

  35. On May 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm choi kum fook said:

    As Chinese saying;”Time passing likes an arrow “, time influences you homesick, and homesick makes you longing to go home.This is a human natural desirability.Miss Sally, how many Chinese words you have learned after one and half year in China? Thank you very much for me learning a lot of information about China from your blogs. Hoping keep on and get more information of U.S. from the blogging in future before I go to it! Ha! Ha! “Unleash your potential, strive to do your best” , Chinese saying, for keeping on your blogging matter! Bien voyage! Good Luck!

  36. On May 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm Priya said:

    Aww, yay! You’re going home! Yay! I’m excited for you!… Yay! Maybe we’ll get to meet face to face while you’re in the States. Man, I thought I was the only one who loved cheese. My dream is to live in a house made out of cheese one day with a chocolate fountain in the living room next to the couch, which will be made out of cheese..or maybe bread? Hmm.. hard decision.
    And the answer to your question.. have you ever gone home again after an extended period away? No. No. and once again, no. And that time I lived in the dorms didn’t count. I was so close to home it was like I was playing house. I’m actually TRYING (very poorly btw) to do the opposite. I’ve been thinking about moving to Australia a lot lately. And this is the usual convo I have with my dad.. Me: “I’ll go for 6-12 months.” Dad: “no, 3-6 months. I’ll buy you a return ticket.” Though if I really want to go, I need to figure out how to make some $$$. ( maybe I can sell some booze to kids.. I kid! I kid!) Anyway, great post, as always. And yay!

    • On May 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm Sally said:

      Well, Chicago is definitely on my list of places to visit when I’m back. But, who knows, you may be in Australia by then! Then maybe Australia will have to be on my list of places to visit. 🙂

  37. On May 6, 2012 at 5:52 am Erik said:

    Come back!!! Maybe you will finish the book I’ve been waiting on 🙂

    Whatever you do, I’m sure you’ll make it your kind of happy!

    Do you get to bring your current couch home with you?
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Monorail, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

  38. On May 9, 2012 at 3:08 am Ava Apollo said:

    Amazing. I came home after being abroad for the first time when I was 22 and had lived in Taipei for 7 months. I think the harder transition was just being 22, but I do miss it.
    Ava Apollo recently posted..That One Time I Became an Illegal Alien in Taiwan

  39. On May 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm Chrissy Travels said:

    I have had this same feeling while being on the road for long periods of time. I can especially relate to missing the nieces and nephews. I always try to go home for a dose of normality and home grown comfort from time to time. I take a deep breath and then I head back out on the road. There’s beauty in both places and things to miss and long for in each.

    Good luck to you!
    Chrissy Travels recently posted..Health Secrets From Thailand- Dragon Fruit For Weight Loss

  40. On May 13, 2012 at 3:19 am Nicholas Marks said:

    Love your site Sally. I find myself up against this battle all the time. Trying to decide where to go next. So many choices and being afraid that making the wrong one will lead you down the wrong path.

  41. On May 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm 50+ and on the Run said:

    Good luck in your next big adventure. If you ever want to explore the cheese possibilities in San Antonio, let me know. I’ll be happy to be your ambassador de queso.
    50+ and on the Run recently posted..Good Kids in Five Easy Steps

  42. On May 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm Solo Female Nomad said:

    I think its good to take a break from traveling now and again, even if its for a short time. It will refresh you and make you appreciate your future travels more. But, typical! The moment I discover your blog you announce that you wont be traveling for a while – ho hum!

  43. On May 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm ChinaMatt said:

    Going home after a long absence can be difficult. After almost four years in China, life was weird in the US (though China did teach me how to deal with crappy drivers here). It took a long time to find a half-decent job (I’m hoping it becomes a decent job very soon).

    Good luck readjusting. Best bet for jobs in the US is adjunct ESL instructors at community colleges. Doesn’t pay great, but can help pay the bills.

  44. On May 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm jen said:

    yeah!!!! I’m so excited to be reading this…not promptly, sorry. I can’t wait to see you!!

  45. On May 23, 2012 at 5:50 am Eugene said:

    Dear Sally, go home! You’ve earned your kudos for being an independent, well traveled, well read child-of-the-new-millennium. Now go home. I’ve been away from home for 5months and I have 5 to go, I miss my family, I wanna go home! *sad* Btw, those are some wild toes woman! You could pick up a beer mug or knit a scarf with them puppies! Oh, hang on, I’m being familiar am I not? I guess we all feel like we know you, and so I just launch into some good natured teasing with no regards for your feelings… I sorry, I’ll immediately put myself on a stick and smack me. Love your work – hope you keep blogging when you get back to Buffalo (Buffaloes don’t have wings do they?)

    • On May 25, 2012 at 11:25 am Sally said:

      Oh, they’ll definitely be blog posts from Buffalo. If only so I’ll have an excuse to do stupid stuff. “It’s for my blog” has become a really handy reason to sign up for all kinds of dumb stuff I would never usually do… or at least that’s what I tell myself.

  46. On May 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm Rachel said:

    As long as you’re still blogging while here in the States, all is well.

    New directions in life can be good, though! And it’ll be nice to live somewhere where you can have a conversation that both parties can understand completely. 😉

  47. On June 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm Mario Lurig said:

    If I find myself in Buffalo or you find yourself wanting to visit Denver, I recommend a get-together. I may be doing some US traveling in August, so this is an option. Just sayin’.
    Mario Lurig recently posted..Priorities Change: Embrace Them


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