USA trip – Sharing an overview (part 1 of 6)

New York City, view from the Manhattan Bridge

I say this every single time. And yes, I know how lucky I am that this feels so true to me. But:

WE JUST CAME BACK HOME FROM THE BEST VACATION EVER.

To be honest, I have no idea how we are going to beat this record. I am sure there are other places so amazing on this Earth that I sound (read) ignorant right now. It’s that I wished to go to the USA ever since I turned twelve. It will soon be eighteen years.

So, for the last eighteen years I had this dream and I still can’t believe it turned real. I am at my desk, looking at my computer and while I am treating my Jet-lag-ness with coffee, I am having a hard time believing that the last 20 days have actually happened the way they did.

Before we left, I started to panic. All the expectations I built up in my mind all these years were about to be checked against reality. I was about to go where I always wanted to go and truly learn if it is all as good as I believed it to be. I might not have talked as much about this, but I surely spent a lot of time thinking about life in the USA. Basically, I sometimes feel more connected to the American culture than my own. I am pretty sure I know better what an American is than what a Romanian is, but this may be a story for another time.

So, all afraid, I started to convince myself that it will just be an experience, a trip like any other, just a little better, because I get to hang out with my best friend since faculty. We were roommates for tree years and been there for each other in the good times and, most importantly, throughout the worst.

We remained best friends and, despite the distance, we keep in touch regularly. Sure, it’s not the same as it was when we were living together, but our relationship has only evolved. Knowing I can confide in her makes me feel less alone. I know she’ll understand and that I’ll be getting really good advice.

And, most importantly of all, I really wanted to get to know her son. We are at this stage in life when we’re forming our families. I am still in the process of growing up so I find many things scary and not for me, but I understand how the focus is shifting from our (more or less) dramatic love relationships to the problems, needs, joys of motherhood and of the next generation. And because of that, I do want to celebrate the evolutions of the lives of my friends. An example of this is to hang out with their children, loosely translated, to play together.

I didn’t tell many people about this trip, but those I told were truly supportive. They seemed so excited. The more excited they were, the more I tried to lower their expectations. I tried to be modest, which probably had a different effect, but also to keep my excitement in check. I really, really believed that I would have a hard time to manage myself if this holiday would be disappointing.

But, all in all, I did think a wonderful thing is about to happen which will impact my life in unexpected ways. I’ve gotten more than 5 calls/texts from people wishing us a safe journey, which never happened to me before. I truly appreciated the time people took to write and talk to me about this. It did make it feel like an important trip is about to happen.

And to keep this short, it was great. The best EVER. Not only because I visited all the great places and spent time in New York city admiring all the great buildings I wanted to see, but because I hung out with my friend and her family. Seeing her all grown up in the life they built together was so rewarding to me. I didn’t contribute to it, of course, but I just love to see my friends (and other people) living their best life.

I wonder about the bigness (and smallness) of it all and there are these moments when I am present in whatever is going on and I feel like I am part of everything. This trip was filled with moments like this. We did regular things, like making coffee, smiling, having conversations, but extraordinary things too, like sleeping in the tent, playing with rocks at the Pacific Ocean and taking my boy out on the lake on the boat.

Because we spent two weeks in the States and every day (to be read moment) was great and different, I decided to make a short series to present this trip. One post would just make no justice to it all. And one of the lessons of my journeys is that it’s all better when the experiences are shared.

Until then, make the day count!

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