January 3rd, 2020
By the last day of the Orlando road trip, I had grown weary and a little bit homesick. I could tell Arnold was feeling the same way, and after our complaining had frayed her nerves, we punched the home address into our trustworthy Tesla, admittedly rushing the end of a trip when there were still sights to see. When we got back home, the days were filled with the familiar pillars that I had always cherished. Sleeping in, the safe small town feel, hours of playing video games downstairs, Mom’s food that I could really dig into, the “restaurants” like Hakata Ramen and Taco Bell that Arnold and I appreciated but Mom never really cared for, and of course, that one golden night where the entire family gathers to play the staple game that had followed me through my childhood: Rummy. As mom brought in the fruit (it happened to be pears and pineapples that day) and encouraged us to eat it, I thought, this is home. As Arnold and I teased Mom for being hypocritical in rushing our turns and perennially complaining about Dad messing up her grand orchestrated Rummy strategy, I thought, this is home. This is the origins of my homesickness, this is what I’ve been waiting to come home to.
But after the game wrapped up (with Arnold gloating as always), I thought to myself, yes this is home, but does that make Orlando any less home? Was the trip truly missing anything that we desperately needed and could only find here? As I revisited the moments that composed our trip, I realized that no, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Elements of home followed us wherever we went. Thanks to Mom’s unwavering pledge to always be the morning driver, Arnold and I did plenty of sleeping in, just in the Tesla back seat instead of our beds. Thanks to Mom meticulously packing our backpacks to the brim with apples, clementines, grape tomatoes and cucumbers, Arnold and I ate plenty of fruit, just while standing in line instead of on a dining room table. Thanks to Mom’s thick skin, Arnold and I did plenty of teasing, this time about a variety of topics instead of just her Rummy quirks. Thanks to Mom waiting in line for hours so that we could rest our feet, Arnold and I spent plenty of time playing games, just this time it was enabled by our own guessing game inventions rather than a television screen.
Of course, in the moment, standing for the third hour on a line two hours before I was used to waking up, home felt quite far away. But upon reflection, that road trip was never a far-off approximate from home because Mom had always brought it with us. The manifestations were always there: the Tesla backseat, the plastic bags of fruit, the tolerant acceptance of mild insults. Home is what you make it, and Mom was busy making it for us for the whole trip; we just didn’t appreciate it until the retrospect.
College breaks are a tricky thing. Coming back from living in a college dorm that feels like a year-round hotel, from a land of unfamiliar people that come close but never quite reach family status, from a busy schedule that keeps us perennially occupied with work, all Arnold and I wanted to do is settle into our familiar childhood nest and do nothing for a change. But on the other hand, coming from a perspective where being in one place 24/7 can be stifling, where the familiarity that Arnold and I valued are just routine, all Mom wanted to do was the refreshing novelty of getting out for a bit. But if this trip has taught me anything, it’s that home isn’t a place, it’s a sensation that’s anchored deeply, internally. Traveling away from home and the feeling of being at home aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. With this new truth at heart, I eagerly await my next journey with mom, for wherever we go, we will be home. And maybe I shall plan it for a change.
奥兰多旅行最后一天，我已经有些疲倦和想家了，看得出弟弟也有同感，在我俩的抱怨把妈妈闹得招架不住后，我们把家里的地址输入到深得信赖的特斯拉里，虽然沿途还有地方值得去游览。到家以后，日子就是我一向熟悉的那样子了：懒床、享受小镇的安全舒适、打游戏几小时、细品妈妈的美食、去弟弟和我喜爱的东北餐馆和Taco Bell （虽然妈妈不待见这俩地方）。当然最重要的是全家围坐饭厅玩Rummy～～这是从我们儿时就有的家庭传统。
和儿子们Tesla开车旅行 12/20-12/28/2019 （29凌晨）除了途中标示的，各地local交通总距离将近3000 miles。我除了定了几天Orlando旅馆和建议去Bridge-Tunnel, 其他都是儿子们随着开车计划，哪里充电，哪里住宿，临时打电话约旅馆，找地方玩。每到一地之前把人口数量土地面积等等查看一下，所到之处能从商学院学生角度观察以及简单分析历史地理经济（虽然文化这一项实在有限）。虽然马不停蹄有些辛苦，他俩觉得the spontaneity is fun! 我当然更像小学生一样看着什么都新鲜（这一点要归功于俺记性不好，看啥都像第一次接触.)