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America!

“Passports!  Have our passports out!”

I could recognize the accent anywhere.  There  is nothing quite like the New York City accent, that tells me that I am ‘home’.  In the land of my birth, the land of my family.

The NYC cop scratched his crotch, flipped through my passport, welcomed me back to the States and winked at me.

Welcome home.

I cried from Lima to Panama, reflected and wrote from Panama to NYC.  Smiled at having the friendly face of my uncle waiting for me at JFK (what a nice change from having to negotiate taxi fares in a foreign country, arriving on my own in a new place).

All through my travels, people have asked me about food in the USA.  What is your typical food?  And I always respond — your food – as I try to explain that we are a country of immigrants, a land of diversity.

Last night, standing in the immigration line, I was struck by that diversity in coming back to the US — for the first time in 8 months, not everyone had dark hair, dark skin, short in height.  Now – there were people surrounding me with all sorts of hair colors, different skin tones, different languages, different heights.

Today, riding the subway – I wanted to connect with people who looked like they came from places I have traveled.  The man who could have been from India.  The woman who looked Vietnamese.  The man who looked Peruvian.  I wanted to tell them – ‘I know your country.  I love your country.  I am just a traveler here too’.

So, I am back.  Caught in the in-between — both a citizen and a visitor.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. James #

    Welcome back! So well put. I have really enjoyed following your world travels. You are an amazing person and I consider myself lucky to have met you so many years back.

    May 1, 2012
  2. Welcome back to America, for now. Such a beautiful reflection on returning “home.”

    May 1, 2012
    • thanks kim! I am so excited for you to start your jouney! and I am going to focus on the ‘for now’ part of your statement! 🙂

      May 1, 2012
  3. Sarah #

    Ah, the liminal space. Just. Be.

    May 1, 2012
  4. Aurora we are all better people for having “traveled” with you for the past 9 months. Thank you, thank you thank you for taking us along your journey. Your writings and photos have helped teach and/or reinforce to us that we are a small part of a much larger picture. It is bitter sweet to have you back, knowing that I will miss reading about your journey. See you on the 31st. If not sooner.

    May 1, 2012
  5. Carol Kushner #

    But you won’t stop “moving,” will you? And there will be many more stories to tell. The journey is not yet over!

    May 2, 2012
    • yes — i can promise you all that! the journey is far from over……

      May 2, 2012
  6. Welcome back! I’m so happy that you had a wonderful journey and life experience and have returned safely home!

    May 2, 2012

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