Passing through the clouds as our flight finally descended into Seattle yesterday, I must have breathed in too deeply because, today, my head is still full of clouds. I'm physically back in the States, but the voices and images still alive in my head are back in Slovakia.
After 9 visits over the past 11 years, perhaps what I appreciate most about my experiences in Slovakia is that I am truly able to live two entirely different lives. For 3 weeks at a time, I somehow manage to pack my bags while leaving my baggage behind. I enter an entirely different social and psychological landscape and become a different me.
Here I'm a dreamer fighting the numbing effects of life spent in a gray cube. There I'm a human being living a vibrant and authentic life. My head is still filled with bright colors, the now-familiar Slovak language, the click-clacking sound of women strolling down a quiet city street, and the absurdity of awaking to my sister-in-law's dog fighting with her caged parrot at seven o'clock in the morning.
I also see myself moving there in the not-too-distant future. I see myself choosing life over security.