7 Weeks in the States
Updated: Mar 17, 2022
So, my time back in the good ole USA has come to an end. I arrived on August 6th back in California, my home state. After a week there, I was off to Washington DC for my graduation. I am sure you read my blog post about that. ;-) After 8 days in the nation’s capital, I flew to Virginia Beach, Virginia to spend time with pretty much the only one from high school I am friends with still. Since her whole family is there, I saw a lot of people I know and love. After another 8 days, I took a short flight up to New York City. This was my first time in the Big Apple, so I had to stay for a week as there is so much to see and do. Next up, Kentucky for 3 days. A very quick, we’re talking like 14 hours, in California to get needed paperwork before I headed off to Florida for 1…yes, ONE day. More family time as I headed to Texas for 5 days to hang with my cousin and his family. Thanks, Hunter, for letting me crash in your room. Back to California for a week and more family time at my baby cousin’s wedding (I have a large family). Then off to Arizona to see one of my closest friends before heading back to California.
Did you get confused?
Lose count of the number of states I went to?
Is your head spinning just reading it? Yeah, mine was just typing it. At one point in my adventure, I said “good morning” to a desk agent. She replied with “good afternoon.” I said “I have no idea what time it is or where I am. She was nice enough to inform me “It’s 1:50pm and you are in Atlanta.” That was very helpful as this was when I was on my way to Texas, and I was extremely sleep deprived at this point.
It was 8 different states, and CA was hit 4 times. I am super thankful for apps like TripIt that help me organize all this. Imagine the confusion in just the flights, hotels, and rental cars. This doesn’t even cover the museums I went to and tours I went on.
With all my domestic flights from May to September, I earned myself Silver Medallion Status on Delta Airlines. I have earned over 100,000 in credit card points from May to September too.
While America will always be where I am from, I am super glad I do NOT live in California anymore. In fact, I was in Florida to register as a Florida resident.
Questions I got when I was back in America:
- What are the top 3 things I miss about Roatan?
- Top 3 things I miss about California?
Roatan is easy. The laidback way of life (island time is a very real thing), the scuba diving, and my friends there.
California would be my home church (my mom was in labor with me there, I spent much of my childhood there, and it’s like a 2nd home), my 101-year-old grandma, and my friends. Yes, Trish S, I miss you the most. I also miss being able to order things and have them delivered. There are no addresses in Roatan, so Amazon isn’t a thing here. If you really need something to or from America, you have to find someone coming or going who is willing to help you out. In fact, I am at the airport right now to fly back and have items for 5 different people. Not like gifts I am bringing them, but items they ordered and had shipped to me in CA for me to pack and bring.
Also, another thing I love about the island. People are friendly and helpful. Even if you don’t personally know someone, they will more than likely bring something to or from the island for you. People being friendly is how I decided on my dive shop too. It was suggested to me to talk to a few dive shops and see who I click with. Natalie, one of the owners at Sun Divers, took the time to talk to me, offer tips and things to do on the island, and get to know me some. No one else took that time.
I know I got off on a tangent. Reeling it back in. While I was in America, I was able to do a lot of firsts for me. I have never been to NYC, Kentucky, or Texas. It was great to explore and see things I had seen on TV, heard about, or just been wanting to do. I also got to vote in my first election recall.
I was blessed with lots of family time too. I had planned to see The G (what I started calling my grandma) this week, but an aunt called me saying she was taken to the hospital via ambulance. Thankfully, I was able to see her in the hospital. She is doing great and is back home. The G didn’t have her hearing aid, so it was a quick visit. Per her, she is “like a bump on a log without her hearing aid”. I got to squeeze her hand and give her a kiss. Yes, I am super blessed to have her this long. I don’t have any other grandparents left either. Being in Honduras is hard because I don’t like being that far away from her. I am at peace though if something happens. After all, we are on borrowed time.
(Pic with The G from this August)
People have asked why I was there for so long. I had 3 events I needed to attend or deal with.
- The first was my college graduation. I am so glad that I walked. Being that I finished during covid, it was very anticlimactic. Participating in the ceremony was just what I needed to finish out that part of my life.
- My baby cousin got married!! I was not going to miss that event. It was a lovely location, and my cousin looked absolutely stunning!! She is identical to her mother. I also got to see family I hadn’t seen in quite some time.
- Lastly was the 2-year anniversary of my oldest brother passing. That was just a few days ago. I couldn’t be on the island on this day. I had a very hard time being there for his birthday, let alone for this. My oldest brother was my world. I had a unique and special relationship with him. I have never had that kind of relationship with anyone else. I could tell him literally anything (and there were some doozies), but there was never any judgement from him. He was the keeper of my secrets. While I know I let him down or disappointed him a lot, he never let on to it. Mike was 5 years older than me and the predominant male figure in my life growing up. So, for me, losing him was losing not only my brother but my father too.
Now, I am sitting at UnCorked at SFO, waiting to board my flight back to the island. I am excited to be back. I am looking forward to being in the same place for over a month, so hopefully, I can settle in some.
If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to follow my Instagram page or Facebook page. I am way better at posting there.
Wander With Mekela