Saturday, April 4, 2009


One year ago I was packing all the stuff I could fit in my backpack, I was so frightened of the idea to have to walk miles while carrying it, the year ahead of me looked quite challenging in that aspect.

I remember that when it all began, we went to Mexico. My legs were shaking uncontrollably from the effort to stand with 45lb of extra weight at the airport while waiting for my mom to pick us up. At the next morning my legs and heaps hurt so bad I had to take pain killers.

Once the real trip began I suffered from the same pain for a while. My neck and shoulders were feeling the challenge too, every time I'd try to lift it by myself I'd fail and ended up asking David to help me, sometimes when I put it on while siting he would even have to pull me up because I could not stand by myself.

Honestly, I never thought I would see the day on which I could put it on without David, a wall, or a chair.

When we checked into our flight from Bangkok airport I realized that my backpack was never that much lighter, nevertheless I could lift it up with one arm and put it on, one day I even carried David's backpack at the same time as mine.

Yesterday I finally unpacked it, but now I am not quite sure if it is freedom or concern what I feel. Finally I don't experience regular leg pain, but I have come to understand that everything I own is not in only one luggage bag anymore. This means that if we don't like it wherever we settle, we can't just check out and take the next plane to some place else.

This is our new start. No more waiting hours in bus terminals or endless train journeys. No more curious stares and clueless faces caused by our words. David often refers to our comeback as "going back to the real world", but is this truly it?? Where a chicken sandwich costs 8 dollars, and a bottle of water $2?

I am sitting next to a kitchen with a fridge full of food, a big part of it will go bad before someone can eat it all, poor people are not siting on the streets waiting for some good hearten tourist to give away uneaten food, not even dogs eat left overs in this "real word".

Teenagers walk around shopping malls socializing, 14 year old girls wear so much make up that they look like junkie hookers skinny, tiny, and underdeveloped thanks to their addictions. Unlike the kids working for a bit of food at the other side of the world, teenagers don't know that this "real world" could very easily disappear. What seems unlikely to disappear is the world on which little 3 year old babies walk around touristic sites collecting plastic bottles to sell and help support their family, the world on which being skinny means to be poor instead of pretty, where young girls date old western guys hoping to have a better life.

I love America without a doubt, I missed it as much as I loved going away from it...but it scares me to imagine how fragile this dream could be. It is very easy to get used to fire places, cozy clean and comfy beds, fresh and healthy food, people that understand and care, but it is so hard to forget about all this being away.