I should say this because maybe it’s never clear, but being back in the Bay Area last month was awesome. I say this as I juxtapose my recollection of my time at home with the recent quitting of young field engineer here (not in my segment) who I got to know for about 2 days before his departure. I’ll discuss why in a moment.
Being home (the only real home I have ever known and the closest thing to home I still have as determined by the IRS) is always great. Perhaps it does not show since I do not go often. When I was still in the States, time was always the limiting factor with other place(s) I had compelling reasons to visit. Last year in Hungary was a bit of a one-off since I came back stateside three other times, but never to California. Now here in Congo, it’s hard to say if I’ll be back more often. It’s as ‘easy’ as ever to get to Paris (assuming air travel will one day resume), but there are plenty of places to go from there. Nonetheless, home is peaceful in a certain sense, though skewed since I am always on vacation when there.
People are always good to see. Family, extended family, friends, strangers, whoever. There’s diversity to the Bay Area that is achieved in few other places. Even Farmington, New Mexico and Victoria, Texas had diversity in their own ways. And everyone spoke English. Mostly. But coming from a year in Hungary, where diversity is less pronounced for all the obvious demographic and historical reasons and far fewer speak English, being back in the Bay Area was a delight of familiarity in all the ways it is so different from itself. Also appreciated were the fond reminiscences of all the oft-visited places and even the apparent familiarity of what was new in town. (Still intrigued by the mutant Carls Jr./Green Burrito place I saw on El Camino since I didn’t go inside).
As great as home is and how I might extol upon its virtues, there is also certain interest in not being there. An interest in roaming a bit freer keeps me out here for the time being. For some people, when they go to balance out their interests, some things weigh more than others. For the young engineer who quit last week, he had just come back from his own vacation home. He was back here less than two weeks before he decided to call it quits and head back. He told me that many of his friends and family didn’t want him to come back here. That’s his life and that’s his choice. The sooner he makes a decision like this, the better off he is. It’s not for me, not now at least. I appreciate that my friends and family respect my decisions enough to not extensively lobby me to make a permanent return. I like to presume it is out of some level of respect for personal freedom though I have not entirely ruled out that some people are tickled pink to have me gone. I’ll always be back though, possibly for good one day.