Culture Shock: On Arrival in New Mexico

Back in spacious New Mexico. 

5 months backpacking through Southeast Asia. 

But the worst case of culture shock hit me on returning home.  
Everything looked strange! 

So empty! 

Where were the street vendors? 
The small shops? 

The tuk-tuks? 
No trolling taxis? 

The noise?

The roads seemed so spacious. 
The countryside uncomfortably wide. 

Everything so brown and dusty. 

It was very unsettling. 

Even though I should be used to this feeling by now, it still hits me. 

New map! About a month each: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia. 

Food tasted weird. 
Coffee. Even wine! 

Even New Mexico's famous green chile!

(Ok, green chile tasted good after a couple of days.) 

During the last week or two of this trip, I was ready to come home. 

Five months of traveling and making plans as we went.
It was harder than I'd anticipated. 

Incredibly cool, definitely. 

But t
raveling full time can be hard work.
Things certainly go wrong on a regular basis.  

Vietnamese fishing nets in the Mekong Delta.

After a few days of weirdness back in New Mexico, it began to feel good. 

It was spring! 
Green - well, kind of green. 
It's still a desert. 

And cool. Especially compared to southeast Asia.

Perfect timing. 

The garden was just beginning to bloom and grow. 
As the weeks passed, the rhythms and routines of New Mexico became normal again. 

It's good to be here.

"12 Things on a Tuesday" - Garden Life at Guadalupe Trail

I told someone - we're "letting our souls catch up with us" after this trip. 

Digesting the experiences. 
Appreciating all the abundance here. 

Toads, roadrunners, dragonflies. 
The dry sunny weather. 

Green chile enchiladas. 

And - so much SPACE. 
And - quiet.

Inle Lake, Myanmar. Sunset after a day fishing. And they'll row the boats home with their feet.  

I've been drawing a lot. 

Monks and markets. 
Boats and Buddhas. 

Temples and tuk-tuks. 

There are a million things to draw, now that there's so much time. 
Each drawing brings back memories. 

(And it's so easy to forget - how hot it was in Asia at times!)

Market women in Cambodia, selling fish. Fishermen on the U Bein teak bridge in Myanmar.

You can see all the recent paintings here:  

And if you click on a picture individually - there's a little explanation.  

Diving at Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Manta rays below water, Komodo dragons above.

Where to next? 
Not sure. 

For the moment, there are morning glories to train. 
Snails to chase. 

Walks to take and wine to drink. 
Bicycles to the local Growers' Market. 

And there's a toad who has to be rescued every morning from the pool and relocated to a safer pond. 

Time to chill.

I only have about 3500 more photos that I'd really LOVE to draw.

Stories about Indonesia. 
Komodo dragons. 

Living on a deserted island. 

Sailing through the Mekong Delta. 

All in good time. 

Thanks for following on the journey with us!