Walking down Co Bac street in Saigon, I suddenly had a realization: The challenge of living in Vietnam was over.
There would be no more searching for the singular kindle retailer in the city, asking strangers for directions outside roadside cafes, or attempting to explain why my motorbike was stuck on the palace sidewalk.
Often it was difficult to get things done and what would be minor events turned into small adventures. The wrong turns, quizzical looks, and confused strangers made day-to-day life interesting. No matter what I eventually found a solution. Now back in the United States, a lot of that murkiness is now gone.
The pace of life here is consistent, predictable, and routine. I don’t struggle with doing too many things. It is a little less stressful, but definitely not as exciting. Driving a car, going to work, visiting grocery stores- all things that were different on the other side of the world.
So why come home?
Now that is the question that I struggle to answer.
The easy answer is that I missed home and I wanted a break from teaching children.
The real answer is grounded in an issue that probably existed before I embarked on my trip. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I knew teaching English would probably not be a career path. I just wanted to travel and that was the only way to afford it. That’s the honest answer.
Despite that, I also know that serving at a Mexican restaurant is not a career. I think everybody knows that, but here I am back at it. And herein lies my new (or reoccurring) challenge. Adapting to life in a foreign country was one type of challenge, finding a career you love is quite another.
I guess this is probably the reason I came back home. Hopefully I can figure out what’s next although I still want to continue traveling too. Whatever I do, I know there is no time for complacency. It is important to take concrete steps towards exploring my interests and potential jobs. Only then will I be at peace and primed to hit the road again.