First stop on my year on world travel: Memphis, Tennessee. Doesn’t sound very exotic or foreign to me, but it’s where my best friend lives. My sister also lives here, and that is an added plus, because I haven’t seen her very often in the past few years. I’ll spend about a month here as a way to ease myself into the trip. This is not only for me, but to help my daughter feel more comfortable about being responsible for herself. We’ve been connected at the hip for the past three years, and we’ve become best friends. We truly enjoy each other’s company (for the most part) and being separated for an extended period of time is going to be an adjustment.

Last night, my daughter told me she didn’t know what to do with herself each day, after I leave. For the past couple of years, I forced her out of bed to take me to school every day. Once up, she would eat and do something artistic, watch some television, and then come get me. Every night we’d eat and watch more TV, then I’d go to bed while she stayed up watching TV and doing more artistic stuff.

Now, she told me, she has no focus. Nonsense, I said. She has focus, she just has to redirect it and figure out what she wants her days to look like now. It’ll be interesting to watch her transformation. And I know she’ll have one…it’s inevitable.

Yesterday, my friend Renee and her husband drove down to Arlington to get me. We got back to Memphis about 11pm, and I was asleep by midnight. I woke up at 8:33am this morning, and have been on the laptop ever since. My friends are still abed!

Being here doesn’t feel too different, yet. I was here last summer for about 10 days, and it feels like it did then—a vacation away from home. Will I not feel like I’m on my journey until I actually leave the U.S.? Good question, and one I’ll be visiting while I’m here. Stay tuned!


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