PHUKET: I donít miss real bread and real butter, cheese and steak tartare.
I donít miss walking my dog through winterís first snow, skiing in the French Alps or the mountains of the Czech republic. I donít miss autumn strolls in my local park or the relief of springtime.
I donít miss the first tulips, young potatoes, fresh raspberries and peaches in the summer. I donít miss wine, visiting vineyards, attending tastings.
I donít miss traveling across Europe to see my favorite bands perform live in Berlin or Paris. I donít miss the empty streets, wide sidewalks. I donít miss partying with my friends, talking till the early morning.
I donít miss my motherís tomato soup or my fatherís apple pie.
I donít miss overcoats, gloves and scarves. I donít miss weekends by the lake or in the mountains. I donít miss movie festivals, art exhibitions, university lectures, open air concerts...
I donít miss any of these things. Not everyday. Iím too busy, consumed by my daily life in Phuket, by my girlfriend and daughter, the beaches, sunny weather, great food and kind people. When one is content there is no time for looking back; happiness is the best cure for nostalgia.
But once in a while it gets to me. Sometimes for almost no reason at all Ė a sound, a scent, a ray of light brings distant memories, makes me stop, puts me out of balance. Sometimes the reasons are serious. The news from far away is usually really, really good or really, really bad. Thatís when I miss home the most. Thatís when Facebook and Skype arenít enough. Thatís when Iíd like to be closer.
But I made my choice. And it was the right one. Iím good, Iím happy where I am. But that doesnít mean I didnít lose something on the way. Nothing comes for free.
I dedicate this to my friend Andrew who passed away a few days ago due to brain cancer. Andrew was one of the most intelligent and optimistic people I know. Heís outlived by his beautiful girlfriend and not yet born child. He was 32 years old. He will be missed.This article first appeared in the August 31 - September 6 issue of the hard-copy
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