Greetings blog fans! Sorry I haven't posted recently. Andrew arrived in Mendoza at the end of June and I took full advantage of having a travel companion and sharing the Argentina experience with him over the last three weeks. In Mendoza, we visited several wineries - by bus, bike, and car - in several different regions - Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and Uco Valley. We took a trip to the high country in the Andes where there was more snow than my first visit there (but still not a whole lot). And we spent a day at a hot springs resort in Cachueta, about an hour outside of Mendoza. In Buenos Aires, I got to share some previous experiences with him (a city bus tour and a day in Tigre) and have new ones together (seeing shows and enjoying many late-night dinners). Throughout it all, we watched LOTS of soccer. World Cup mania was in full swing the whole time, and with Argentina making it all the way to the finals, it was quite a spectacle to behold. I posted several photos from our time together in Argentina (although, unfortunately, I lost my camera in Buenos Aires before getting to download many of the photos I took there. Bummer.)
We both left Argentina yesterday - he returned to Portland, and I arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I spent today relaxing and walking on the beach. It felt really good to have sand under my feet and warm, humid air frizzing my hair again. I've come full circle! I'll be here for a week and I'm looking forward to a few final days to see a few final sights, have a few final adventures, and ponder a few final thoughts. But I do also feel like I'm winding down. After five months of (trying to) get used to new cities and customs, (trying to) communicate in a new language, (trying to) figure out bus schedules, and (trying to) see and do so many new things, I'm kind of happy to know I have only one week left to do all that on my own, and then I'll be back home with family, friends, and familiar things.
This is the last stage of my travels, and the first stage of my reentry to real world life. The $3.50 Starbucks coffee this morning and blue US Postal Service mailbox on the corner by my hotel tell me I'm back in the states… but this is a Caribbean, Spanish-speaking territory, not the country I'm used to. I'm home, but not home. That pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about where I am with my "adjustment" too. I have definitely learned - and relearned - some things about what's most important and how I want to live my life when I get back, but I still don't know exactly what it all means and how it will all come together. When I was planning my time away, I had a vision of coming home with all questions answered and a clear view of my path ahead. Instead, figuring that out will be my next adventure, and I'll have that adventure… at home!