Two Months In: Tennessee Livin’

Last December, I flew to the U.S. for an extended Christmas break and spent three weeks with my parents at their eastern Tennessee home. The weeks flew by. Flash forward eight months and one permanent relocation later, and I’ve completed another two months of Tennessee living. Somewhat to my surprise, I like it here.

I live in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, 40 minutes east of Knoxville and roughly mid-way, as the crow flies, between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. I am in a regional town that is small enough to be safe and quiet but big enough to serve as a feeder town for the dozens of small farm villages in the area. We have a shopping mall, a cinema, a junior college, the requisite Cracker Barrel, and – yes – a Walmart.

Okay so I’m not wild about the fact that there’s a Wally World in my town. It doesn’t really matter. My point is that as long as I’m here I can enjoy everything that a slower pace of life has to offer, while still being able to get out to enjoy myself, whether it’s to the movies or to the hiking trails.

Continue reading “Two Months In: Tennessee Livin’”

Holiday Travels – Part Three

I have been having a case of the blues lately. I love my new apartment and am still enamored with all that Mexico City has to offer. That said, it’s been hard finding work and making friends here. I miss those two-hour telephone gab-a-thons with friends living in the States. I only recently discovered Facebook video calling (very similar to Skype). It helps, but it is also dependent on friends being home in front of their webcams. My parents, who don’t have (and probably don’t need) internet access, are still over 2,000 miles away, and I haven’t spoken with them since the morning before my move from the U.S. to Mexico. My girlfriend and I love each other and see each other often, but she has her own life and I must remember to give her some space.

As someone who’s always marched to the beat of his own drummer, I must confess: for perhaps the first time in my life, I’m lonely.

Fortunately, the holidays are here and I’m leaving Sunday to visit family in both sides of Tennessee. Wee doggies! (Or however you spell that.) American Airlines offered me an Executive Platinum frequent flyer status match, and has upgraded me to First Class for my first flight. (My second, connecting flight is on one of those dreaded, single-class, 40-seater regional jets that, of late, have seemingly overtaken the fleets of both United and American. It seems that these boxy-ass, corrugated metal lightning rods are everywhere.)

Continue reading “Holiday Travels – Part Three”