Saturday, August 18, 2012


I've been asked by a few people about the future of Safe Harbor. Of the three people actually interested a blog of my musings, two are my parents. That tells you how far reaching it is, ha! Anyway, I am hoping to keep it up. Just because my adventures in Jordan are over doesn't mean the quest to escape the safe harbor is, as well. I have school, a new job, a boy, and more travels.
There are many more adventures on the horizon. Some abroad, some domestic. There is a substantial possibility that I get to school, get stressed about my schoolwork, get back to socializing, and completely forget about the blog. The dream, however, is that I will still remember to post every so often. This is really more of a record for myself, but if you're following I appreciate it and hope to keep you posted.
Also, here's a great video that always gets me excited and inspired.
Until next time, stay excellent.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Week One

Week one of American life has been, happily, relaxing. Decrompressing was the aim of the game. I've been surprised at how much I miss Jordan. I was absolutely dying to come home my last week there and, while I am basking in the joys of being home, I miss a few things about Jordan. I just want to tell everybody all the great experiences I had, crack all the inside jokes, and talk about the people who changed my life.
I missed the greenery.
So after my first day and a half of recover, my mom and I drove to California to visit all the family. Sadly, my dad wasn't able to get the time off work, so we left him to his own devices at home. We stopped in Grass Valley for a few days with my Aunt, Uncle, their dog, the sun, and the lake. This was exactly what I needed! I was just so surprised at the opportunity to show my legs in public.
Next, we were on to Lake Tahoe. Another one of my absolute favorite places in the world. Mom and I enjoyed a some time on the beach, a little kayaking, and good walking along the shore. Sadly, we had to leave the next day, but were on to other great things. Next was a visit with my Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Harley, along with their daughter and her two year old son, Jack. I spent the evening meeting Jack's dinosaurs, running around the backyard sniffing for "sharp-tooth" eggs, finding some (on the lemon tree), and then waiting for them to hatch. He was an absolute riot.
Next, on to my dad's side of the family. This time it was dinner and watching the Olympics with my Grandma, Aunt Bern, and Aunt Nancy. We ate at a restaurant, Melo's, that Grandma has been raving about for ages. My mom and I also stopped at a deli, Genova's, down the street and were in heaven. The place is like a little piece of New York life in the middle of Walnut Creek. That's when I told my mom I would live in New York one day just so she can come visit and we can get sandwiches at the local deli.
Lake Tahoe
Two more stops left....and yes, this was quite a whirlwind trip. We hadn't realized it, but we overextending ourselves a bit. Of course we love all our family and were happy to see them, but it was a bit intense moving around every single day. Next time we'll just have to take longer vacations.
Anyway, on to Kathy and Dave's house. My mom and Kathy have been friends since they were young nurses together. Kathy and I had a great discussion laying by the pool about her upcoming trip to Turkey. Since I went there a few months ago I tried to give any of the little advice or insight I had. It was really fun to have somebody pick my brain about my experience abroad. Many people are fairly disinterested and here I am just wanting to talk about it all the time. I keep going, " Jordan..." or "You know, Jordanians do this...." and I'm hoping I'm not driving anybody nuts just yet....
Finally, we hit Vacaville to visit my Aunt Kathy, her son Mike, and his family. We went out to dinner and then had another relaxing night of ice cream and Olympics. I missed the first half when I was in Jordan, so I was really trying to get my fill so that I could handle waiting another two years until the next Games.
All in all, I'd say it was a successful trip. I got to visit my family, eat great food, relax, and enjoy the sunshine. You can't ask for much more than that. But I am happy to have my own bed and absolutely no plans.

Monday, August 6, 2012


It is said that home is where the heart is. I couldn't agree more. I love traveling, I love my adventures, I love all kinds of crazy new experiences. But, my heart belongs in Portland and I will always want to come back.
The journey back was an epic one. After three weeks in Turkey and three months in Jordan it was time for me to return stateside. 30 hours, a generous body search, six movies, an interrogation, and three hours of sleep later I was back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. My mom picked me up from the airport which was a great reunion and then we headed to our cozy home, giant backyard, cupboards full of food, soft toilet paper, and my bed.
I showered without the fear of my water running out (oh and there was water pressure...awesome!) and then dove in to my mom's best meal...chicken enchiladas. After feeling quite satisfied, I laid on the couch for a few minutes in hopes of watching a movie, but faded fast. I brushed my teeth like a mad woman, stumbled to my room, and was asleep before the sun went down.
Twelve hours later, I was up and ready to face the day. That was seriously all I needed to recover. I have been completely coherent and adjusted (hopefully...) since. That day my mom ran some errands, I basked in the glory that is target, went for a run, napped, and then went to my favorite local barbecue restaurant. Let me tell you, that pulled pork sandwich was one of the best I've ever had. Another early night and then my mom and I were off on our next adventure...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The End

Sunset over Amman...yes, there might be
a metaphor in there somewhere.
Unbelievable. How could the summer already be over? I have learned amazing things in the last three months and am simply baffled that I'm done. Jordan has been absolutely amazing and the people even better. I cannot wait to come back. That being said, I have never been so excited to go home. In just a few short hours (only 14 to get me to New York, 5 more to Salt Lake, and 2 more to Portland...I can do it!) I will be with my family, friends, and home. So close! I will miss so many things here and I really hope I get the opportunity to come back. It has been a long and tough road this summer, but I have been pushed to new limits and better understand my abilities. I'm definitely going to consider it a win.