By Amirah Ahmad
Whether I like it or not, I consider myself an honorary member of East Asian society.
For the past 2 years, I’ve had the privilege of travelling to various countries in Asia, specifically Indonesia and China. These trips weren’t the typical vacations that last for roughly two weeks and consist of hopping from one tourist destination to the next. Rather, I completely immersed myself in the culture, staying in both Indonesia and China for approximately 6 weeks. I befriended the man who made my breakfast everyday in Beijing, and I keep in touch with the girl I worked with at WiCell Technologies in Jakarta.
After two consecutive years of escaping to the Eastern Hemisphere, however, I’m staying at home. In colloquial terms, it sucks.
Everyday, I yearn for the thrill of travelling, the thrill of trying a new Asian dish, the thrill of bargaining with a hostile vendor on the street for a bracelet that caught my eye. I catch myself watching hours Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and replaying the episodes where he visits a small town in China or secluded village deep in Vietnam. Occasionally, I scroll through the pictures from my travels, lingering on the ones where my memories stem from.
My desire to travel, in fact, makes me incredibly impulsive. One day, I was watching my old friend Andrew Zimmern travel to Cambodia. I watched him taste the peculiar foods and float down a massive man-made lake, clustered with locals trying to find dinner. The second the show ended, I ran upstairs to my computer and looked up plane tickets to Phnom Penh. It’s pathetic, I know.
I apologize for this sob story that’s dominated a good portion of my article. Let me try to spin things around.
Though I’m devastated about not being able to travel for the summer, staying in place does have its up’s. I graduated from high school just recently. As I walked across the stage, reaching out for my high school principal’s hand with my right and taking my diploma with my left, I graduated. As I walked across the stage, almost in a trance, I realized I had just wrapped up one of the most important stages in my life. I was soon entering the real world, but I had one last summer that see-sawed in between the real world and the world my peers and I had just left. I had one last summer to make memories with high school friends that I would reminisce about during old age.
Additionally, I am pleased to say I have found a job this summer. I work at the Seneca Hill Animal Hospital and Resort where I look after dogs whose owners have left for summer vacation. The work may be hard, but at least I’m compensated.
All in all, life at home so far has not been all that difficult. I’m spending time with old friends, and earning for myself, two things that could not be done outside the US. Although I would have wanted to spend the summer in a magical land with foreign foods, languages, and people, I have to realize that life is what you make of it. That’s why I’m going to make my time at home the best vacation I’ve ever had.
1. honorary: 名誉的，荣誉的。
2. privilege: 特权。
3.这些旅行不像典型的假期旅行，因为它们大概只有两周时间，而且都是匆忙地从一个目的地到下一个目的地。roughly: 大约;consist of: 包括; hop: (通常指乘飞机的)短途旅程;destination: 目的地。
4. immerse in: 沉浸于。
5. befriend: 交朋友，成为朋友; keep in touch with: 与……保持联系;Jakarta: 雅加达(印尼首都)。
6. 连续两年逃离到东半球后，我现在还是回到了家里。consecutive: 连续的;hemisphere: 半球。
7. colloquial: 通俗的，口语的;it sucks: 真糟糕。
8. yearn for: 渴望;thrill: 刺激;bargain with: 与……讨价还价;hostile: 不友好的;vendor: 摊贩;bracelet: 手镯; catch one’s eye: 吸引某人眼球。
9. catch sb. doing sth.: 撞见某人干某事;Bizarre Foods: 《古怪食物》，是一个旅游美食节目，主持人为安德鲁•席莫(Andrew Zimmern)，在旅游频道(Travel Channel)播出。replay: 重演;episode: 情节;secluded: 隐蔽的，隐居的。
10. scroll: (如卷轴般)展开，滚动; linger: 徘徊，流连;stem from: 来自，源于。
11. incredibly: 不可思议地;impulsive: 冲动的。
12. peculiar: 独特的;float: 游荡，漂浮;cluster: (人)簇拥，聚集。
13. Phnom Penh: 金边(柬埔寨首都)。
14. pathetic: 悲哀的。
15. sob story: (意在博取别人同情的)诉苦，伤感故事;dominate: 在……中占主要地位。
16. spin around: 旋转，翻转。
17. 虽然我因为夏天不能出去旅行而感到沮丧，但是待在家里的确也有好处。devastated: 沮丧的，垮掉的;stay in place: 待在原地。
18. reach out for: 伸手够……;diploma: 毕业证书。
19. in a trance: 恍惚，出神;wrap up: 圆满完成，圆满结束。
20. see-saw: (如跷跷板般)摇摆;peer: 伙伴，同龄人。
21. reminisce: 回忆。
22. compensate: 补偿，给予报酬。
23. all in all: 总之。
25. make of: 理解，看待。