Thirty days later

To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed.
— Life magazine motto, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I couldn't really communicate with Khalid very well. From what I can tell he thought I was most relatable from the rag tag bunch on the trip. On the last day before we said goodbye he asked if I will ever come back to the island. I said I don't know. It's very hard to get here. I don't know how much of what I said was understood. He fell sullen for a moment. It was the look of being trapped. As if people in his world consisted of those who come visit for a quick moment and then leave forever. 

Hitching a ride with Khalid to Dixam (photo by JM)

It's been about 30 days since the island. I find myself living the last episode of Lost (the TV series) -- always mentioning "the island" verbatim with great fondness and sadness in the same breath. Sad because I'm no longer there. Fond because every minute of it was beautiful. It took a while to adapt back to this default world. Massive amount of people clustering overwhelms me. Every night I look up at the sky I see almost no stars. There's so much pollution here in NYC -- noise, light, air, everything. People are mean to each other. The grit that used to define NYC that I was so proud of felt ... foreign. Today, the lowest point of "vacation withdrawal" had come and went. I'm a different person now. I grew up a bit. I'm more active, more aware of my footprint and possessions, and generally am more proactive about getting my health back on track. I smile at every sight of sweet potatoes, frankincense, myrrh, goats, cows, and ocean. I can't think of the next dangerous place I'll venture to next yet, but for what it's worth, I now know I can climb any mountains I put my mind to and I have faith in myself to jump into a dark ocean anywhere any day.