Can you ever really go home again?

Coming Home

So, I have just gotten back to my apartment after an impromptu trip back home to Las Vegas. the most important thing to mention is that this was not  a vacation or a leisure trip, I had a family emergency and had that scary situation of ‘If I keep to a budget I can’t afford to go, but on an emotional level, can I afford not to go?’ So with that I packed my bags and bought that painfully expensive ticket to the United States. Now one thing I would like to mention as being wrong with the world is that my round-trip airplane ticket to Las Vegas cost more than my last vacation to Ogasawara Islands. It cost more than my three city New Year vacation. It was actually right on par with my entire trip to China. My ENTIRE trip to China; food, plane ticket, admission to attractions, hotel, personal tour guide and personal driver. There seems to be something very not right about that situation.

But ultimately, I chose to go home, and I do not regret it. It was a very different trip then what I expected from my first travel home to be. I imagined getting a hotel room and partying almost around the clock for the first few days, binging on all the American food that had been missing from my life and general all-around merriment. This trip was quite contrary, I spent the first few days hanging around the hospital. The next few days were spent sitting around the house.


There was no partying, there weren’t even a whole lot of errands getting done. But I did get to have my food experience.

I had come home with a mental list of the things that I missed, the foods that I could no logner do without. It consisted of authentic Mexican food, In&Out, buffalo wings, pizza with no mystery or surprise ingredients like corn or mayonnaise, Coldstone ice cream, home cooked BBQ, and Del Taco.  There were other small things that occurred to me that got fit into the food rotation like a bite of my sisters Clam Chowder, or that red velvet pazooki. (Check left for the red velevet half-baked cookie topped with rich vanilla ice cream)

The Mexican food alone brought me so much joy that its hard to articulate with the exception that I was amazing to see a full size serving of nacho chips and an artery-clogging amount of cheese smothering my burritos.


There weren’t too many surprises, or oven a lot of reverse culture shock, although I was constantly aware of exactly how noisy my sisters are (for when they read this, love you, mean it). But also how much I miss our conversations. Compared to them, my meanest rhetoric comes off sounding very nice, they are vicious creatures.

I suppose one thing that surprised me was how I felt when I set down my bags in my apartment in Japan again. Coming from China and other vacations I had felt such a relief to be home, but coming from Las Vegas, I couldn’t generate that ‘thank God I’m home’ feeling. Instead, I did have that ‘thank God for the silence’ feeling. But after wandering around my home home in Las Vegas in the kitchen totally unable to remember where the everyday glassware is hiding, I truly realized that my home was not the house. It really was being surrounded by my family, and as we have all scattered tho the four corners of the earth, only reunited by major emergency events, I come to the grave realization that there really is no going home, only going forward and hoping that home will follow.

0 replies
  1. Hamish Downie
    Hamish Downie says:

    I completely understand what you went through. I made the other decision and I’ve always regretted it. When I got back to Australia, I feel like “ah, I’m home”… and when I get back to Japan, I again feel, “Ah! I’m home”. I think having a partner here is a big part of why I feel that way, because I have family in both countries 🙂


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