I have a better appreciation of potatoes these days. These purple beauties became filling for my vegetarian tacos tonight. I almost felt badly eating the beautiful purple fractals.
I spent the weekend in Steamboat Springs, catching up with an old friend who was bitten by the travel bug even before I was. The last time I saw him, we were both preparing to leave the States and spiral perpendicularly to Patagonia and Eastern Europe. For months, it was not possible to be in touch. After six months of travel each, the chance to catch up was great. Real friends don’t go away just because you can’t talk for months on end.
It was a weekend full of hiking, walking through kooky antique shops on the main street, and probably a couple too many nitro porters. It was a full five hours after I arrived that I realized I had no hairbrush. Damn.
And there came a tiny difference that came from my six months in South America, sneaking up on me. Before I spent that time living in the extreme South of Chile, I might’ve driven to a grocery store immediately to buy a new brush and set about detangling the knots the Rocky Mountains’ wind had woven into my (now reddish) hair. But after months of washing my clothes by hand in my shower, stomaching greenish-brown water, and pulling out my hair over Chilean teenagers…I just don’t care. If anything, a hairbrush is just extra weight in my tiny bag.
Being back is interesting. Sometimes I feel as though it all makes sense and that there is some grand overarching theme from my time in the Southern Hemisphere. Sometimes I feel like it was an exercise in futility. Sometimes I miss walking out into the silence of a Patagonian night. Sometimes I just want to eat the amazing food until I pop. Sometimes I don’t wear any makeup or brush my hair. For a whole weekend.
I plan to treat the transition properly in a few days, but the one thing that is becoming clear is that I am changed. I am changed, and Patagonia changed me forever.
In more ways than just hairbrushes.