Old Friends, New Places

Trip Start Jan 01, 2012
Trip End Jan 18, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In Palmdale we met up with Dad's buddy Kirk Hartley, they both graduated from Houston’s Memorial High School in 1970 and had gone on to University of North Texas together. Forty years later they still stay in touch but don’t see each other often, so they had a lot of catching up to do. We had some drinks in Palmdale and then headed down into Los Angeles proper to meet up with my friends Rochelle and Brad. I gave them about a day’s notice, so I was stoked they were able to make the time.

I hadn’t seen them (and most of my other friends from Boston) since I left for Beijing about a year and a half ago. I got to thinking about the tension between the desire to put down roots in a place and the desire to move on to new adventures somewhere else in the world. I was born a sixth generation Texan and lived there my whole life. But since I moved to Beijing in 2002 to study abroad I’ve been on the move pretty much constantly. The experiences I’ve had in Beijing and Boston, Houston and Austin, I wouldn’t trade them for anything, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t continually been up for moving across the world and back. But such a nomadic life is tinged with the bittersweet knowledge that the friends you make will not be coming with you when you move.

That’s why it was so heartening to see my father having stayed in touch with Kirk all those years, and to see Brad and Rochelle again after so long, and it made me realize that no matter the time and oceans separating old friends, when they are able to get back together it really is just like old times. To Brad and Rochelle, it was great to see you! And to all my other friends and family across the world, from Beijing to Houston, Colorado to London, Boston to Chicago, and all points in between, I hope to see you all again soon!
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