It feels so good to smell like horse again. And to shovel chipful after chipful of salsa into my face. And to bask in the sun, under the huge blue sky, breathing in the smell of dust and dried grass. In other words, I'm thrilled to be home, in a place that's possibly as different from England as any place can be. Part of me will always be here, in the Southwest.
I still plan on writing out a few final reflections on the quarter at Oxford, but for now I'm content to sit and bask in the satisfaction of a long, exciting journey completed. The feeling of arriving in the adobe-style Albuquerque sunport on Friday night, after more than 18 hours of traveling, wrapped up my travels abroad in a very satisfying way, tired and jet-lagged as I felt. It was also something of a relief - I'm not the sort who likes to travel long distances alone, particularly through huge international airports (say, Heathrow) blaring with announcements that I can't understand, activity that seems about to sweep me away. But I have come full-circle, and survived, though I return feeling like a slightly different person than I was three months ago. Ah, a good dose of perspective, taken with a fresh whiff of roasted green chile. What could be better?