First trip back home

On November 6th I headed back to the States for my first trip home since the Big Move. The plan: LA, Albuquerque to see the fam, weekend in Vegas, and then back to LA. In 10 days.

I couldn’t believe that I was actually feeling nervous about the whole thing. Feeling skinny enough, pretty enough, stylish enough? The whole comparison thing is moot in Coco, where no one cares one lick if you wear the same cotton dress for a week. I didn’t know if I was ready to make appearances in cities where I used to be skinnier, better dressed and more employed.

In LA, I got behind the wheel of my rental car and was absolutely giddy, racing towards my first stop, Whole Foods. Blasting Taylor Swift, I took a quick look down at my speedometer to find I was actually racing, going 75… in a 40. (Don’t tell my mom.) I slammed on the breaks. After three months of not driving, I needed to pay better attention.

Inside the Venice Beach locale, my favorite, the motherland of salad bars and organic treats, I was immediately hit by an overwhelming sense of sticker shock. Eight bucks for a wedge of cheese the size of a pencil? Walking among the hip Californians, every insecurity from my past life ripped into my new shell of inner peace and strength. All of a sudden, my black pants felt faded, my wallet felt empty, and I panicked. I honestly hoped that I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. This overwhelming anxiety didn’t stop me from loading up on a bottle of my fav Bordeaux, orzo salad, a dreamy concoction from the miles long salad bar, some cheaper cheese, and who knows what Newman’s Own snacks. I’m not proud of myself, but I’m pretty sure I later ate it all.

LA and Albuquerque passed by uneventfully enough, but then I landed in Sin City, the bacchanalia I called home for almost three years. Fastest 48 hours of my life. First, a boozy brunch at Mon Ami Gabi with my best friend Alicia and her boyfriend Jake. It was dark in some of the latter pictures we took, so I guess we stayed awhile.

After a quick costume change, I flew to dinner with some of my closest “Circle of Trust” friends, who wouldn’t let me go until I promised to write a darn blog already. (Although they were pushing a different idea.) Then Peepshow, Playboy Club, Moon, Tao, Spearmint Rhino. Home by… 7 am? Breakfast 1, breakfast 2, lunch, check into Encore with the glamorous Morgan, lunch, massage (their spa is my new global favorite), dinner at Botero, Bette Midler show (amazing!), and then I let it all sink in during a good night’s sleep in the comfiest, fluffiest bed. I flew back to LA, ran errands like a mad person, tore apart my storage unit, met friends for happy hour, other friends for dinner, got to LAX for my overnight flight back… Phew! My life in the States is too fast sometimes to indulge my anxieties. Kind of convenient in the end.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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