In all my excitement about going home I don’t want to give the wrong impression; there was a lot of seizing-of-opportunities in our lives abroad and all of our travel, but I am staggeringly grateful to have gotten those opportunities int he first place. I have enjoyed the vast majority of it all and I’m extremely glad we did it. I wish many more Americans had the chance to live abroad for a few years. Tennyson definitely got it right; the footnotes are my reaction:

I cannot rest from travel {1}: I will drink
Life to the lees[2]: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly[3], both with those
That loved me, and alone[4]; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades[5]
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men[6]
And manners, climates, councils, governments,[7]
Myself not least, but honoured of them all[8];
And drunk delight of battle[9] with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy[10].
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.[11]

[1] At least, not for too long.
[2] Not to mention local beer, wine, sake, jenever…
[3] “Greatly” is a severe overstatement, in my case.
[4] And over the Internet
[5] And occasional typhoons
[6] And women
[7] Staff meetings…
[8] My popularity, alas, has not matched Ulysses’
[9] Argument, rather
[10] Veldhoven, but it is pretty windy
[11] Yes!

I estimate once we’ve done and settled down somewhere in the US, it won’t be more than a few years before the next bit is true: “How dull it is to pause, to make an end,To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!” THough of courseit’s also possible I’ll find something else exciting to “burnish” myself, rather than just moving around. But for now, going home to stay – or move only by our choice – is exciting.