Home at last…for the moment

It was bitter sweet leaving Bangkok, but it felt good to be heading home for the holidays. The flight seemed to take forever. I’d love to have been able to fall asleep, but smashed in between three other people in a tiny row for over 17 hours…it’s just impossible.  I made the most of it with the inflight movie and getting up to stretch my legs as often as would not be rude to my fellow row mates. Touching down in Chicago never felt so good.

Photo by Brian Brindza

Photo by Brian Brindza

I was excited to get back and see my family and friends. I landed early morning on a Wednesday and was greeted at the airport by my dad. He drove me home to see my fiancé and dog. All I wanted to do was immediately hit the couch, but first things first, right? My dog greeted me at the door with excited barks and a wagging tail. My fiancé was just as excited to see me, although for her it had not been as long as the pup.

Finally with all my hello’s and greetings said I headed straight to my beloved couch and that’s when the jet lag set in. I passed out for a few hours and when I got up, the grumbling coming from my stomach meant it was time to get some food.

I sprang up and went to the corner fast food joint. I knew exactly what I wanted…what I’d been missing for the last few months. I immediately ordered an Italian beef and a (real) Chicago hot dog. With a full belly of my favorite food, I felt much better.

The adjustment was much more difficult on the return trip. It took me a few days to get acclimated to the time change and shake off the fog.  It was time to get into the holiday spirit so my first weekend back I did most of my Christmas shopping and went to get our Christmas tree.  After a good week back I was all settled in and ready to take it easy and enjoy the holidays. It was nice to see the whole family, and have a very traditional Christmas after being abroad for so long.

But Bangkok would not let me go that easy. Shortly after my arrival home, I got an email with the offer to come work in Thailand with Newly Weds Foods Asia Pacific in a more permanent capacity. This was something that we had been discussing while I was out there and something I’ve been seriously debating. With much thought and many discussions with my fiancé and family, I have decided that it would be crazy for me to turn down this great opportunity and an adventure of a life time.

It looks like I will be setting sail once again for the Far East. I had the chance to spend the holidays with family and friends and now I have to sell, pack or give away everything I own and head back to Bangkok. Thankfully a lot of things worked out in my favor and I’ll get to take my fiancé and my dog with me!

Looking back on the day I got on the flight to Bangkok I would have never guessed that I would be transplanting my life to a country on the other side of the world. I will confess that I’m somewhat scared to leave the place that I’ve called home for so many years and start a new life. But fear and uncertainty many times indicates that we are moving in the right direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose and progress. The one thing I can take out of this life lesson is that one must face their fears head on to take on the road less traveled.

The only certainty right now is that I will be making my way back to Thailand by the end of February and look to resume this blog post covering my adventures in food and life, exploring every inch of Thailand and Asia.

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Posted in: Chef Brian Culinary Exchange

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