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When we left for Dushanbe last summer I had it in my head that we wouldn’t return to the U.S. for a full two years. That solidified after the longest travel day of my life with three animals, six suitcases, and one crabby husband (ok, I was the crabby one). I was not in a rush to do that again.

Fast forward to a year later. While I think we are doing relatively well here in terms of mental health, when the opportunity arose to spend two weeks in the States we jumped on it. I didn’t care that it meant flying separately with long layovers and weird connections. The end of it all was America.

I was terribly ill on my flights back to DC. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say once I arrived I had barely enough energy to shower and eat the buttered noodles Sean got me from Noodles & Co. Yep. My first meal back in the land of plenty was buttered noodles. Sad right?

Thankfully I recovered quickly and spend the rest of the two weeks eating myself silly.

The trip was more than just an eating fest in the District. We took a week to see our family and friends which was one of the most refreshing things you can imagine. Familiar faces in familiar surroundings we hadn’t seen for 14 months. It was the best cure for the Dushanbe funk we’d slipped into.

Everything about being back in the States was a breath of fresh air. The orderly city streets, the abundance of choices, Target. TARGET. I went to the one in Rosslyn my first day back and was mesmerized. When you haven’t seen an organized department store in a year it’s pretty shocking.

Taking this two week breather was exactly what I needed. After the 30 hour long haul back to Dushanbe I was able to see the city in an endearing way much like I did when we first arrived.

Except the driving. That shit is still insane.

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