My family gave me a strange look – I was the only one that slipped off my sandals and left them outside before I walked into the house.

I did it without a second thought, having been conditioned by months of not wearing shoes in restaurants, shops, and pubs. Little things like this make me grin from time to time as I get used to being home again. I still find myself converting prices into Baht…its the only way I can comprehend how expensive things are. I almost choked when I went to the market here and saw that pineapples were US $5 – OMG, 200 Baht?!?! Last night I turned at an intersection with a median in the center and had to correct myself as I was about to drive on the left side of the road! I dont want to mention the times I almost threw my toilet paper in the trash bin instead of the toilet here !

Im sure that these little quirks will not last long, and my old routines will sneak up on me again. Sadly, I hate to see them go…I want to have more than memories and pictures left over from my travel. Ive been back in the US for 1 week and I am already getting twitchy. I find myself browsing Travelocity, checking ticket prices for Egypt, Ireland, Australia….

In fact, I seem to be glued to my laptop. I check email every 15 minutes, wanting to hear from my friends that are still in the field across the world or hoping for that email notice from RyanAir about some really low rate that I have been waiting for. I did get incredible news though, Ive got 39K flyer miles with Delta now, which qualifies me for a free ticket anywhere in the US, Mexico, or Hawaii ! 🙂

As of now, the loose plan is to meet my Army buddies returning from Afghanistan here in Kentucky on August 4th, then a couple days later fly straight to Ireland to meet a friend of mine in Dublin. From there I will go to the Netherlands and Germany for sure. After that, who knows. If the weather stays nice I’ll bum around Europe, probably Italy – if not then I will head down to Egypt for some serious diving and exploring where it is warm. I am hoping to distract myself before then with a week or more of some serious, world class rock climbing out in Colorado and possibly a visit to Chicago.

Although the fun is on pause for now – life is good!

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