“Prepare your seatbacks and trays for landing.” I hear, and suddenly I am no longer standing inside a Gauguin painting, but seated in an Asiana plane, which is preparing to land in Bangkok. The dream, so vivid! Was it a promise of what was in store for me in Asia?
It didn’t take more than a couple of days in Bangkok to figure out that if a lush paradise had once existed here, it had long since been covered over by skyscrapers, highways, and malls.
My next Asian destination, Kathmandu, proved to be a paradise of a different kind. It was a medieval silver and jewel-toned village overrun by men with guns, and no, it no more resembled the soft, pastel paradise of my dream than Bangkok had.
Apparently, I was too late. And so I let it go.
I am peering out of a Garuda jetliner at an emerald island surrounded by a velvet sea as we prepare to land in Bali, Indonesia. My forehead pressed against the window, I am suddenly very tired of the life of a Global Orphan. I want to be home. “Please,” I pray. “Let this be it.”