So, I went out the the Southwest. You know how you can tell where you belong? By going other places, seeing them, and experiencing them. I belong pretty much where I am, in New England, or at least in the Northeast.
Reason? The Pacific Ocean smells wrong. When I got out of my car on the monday morning after my return, I could smell the ocean. It smelled like home.
Also, the West is beautiful. Vibrant, even. And going out to California, it reminded me of Joni Mitchell's song California, how she sings that she doesn't want to stay where she is, "It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here". But I like the oldness and the coldness.
It was like sensory overload, with the sky seemingly so expansive and the mountains being so tall against the sky, and I wanted to go back where the sky seems sometimes close enough to touch and the mountains are smaller, and full of a lively green.
At the same time, though, moments like my friend frantically pulling over on a major roadway to get pictures of the setting sun illuminating the Joshua Trees on the ridge kind of made it all worth it.