“Has it ever been hard to get your kids back on that flight to India?”, is a question we have heard a few times after returning home to the United States. Though each of us have a hard time saying goodbye to the lifestyle, family and friends here, I can honestly say that we have never had one of our children proclaim they are not getting on that plane. Well, this summer I figured out the secret – it’s “Suitcase Syndrome.” After being in the United States for 9 ½ weeks, and packing up the suitcase in many different locations (18 for some of my children), each one of us has experienced suitcase syndrome and are ready to stop living out of one.
A few experiences with our suitcase syndrome:
- Lost suitcases that don’t arrive with your flight don’t even bother you. We are in the USA, it is so easy to buy replacements and the trip to Target was smiled upon anyways.
- Cracked, broken suitcases – well it had a good life traveling around the world but when it is packed full, meeting the weight limitation several times because mom is always carrying everyone’s stuff they don’t pack (sunscreen, medications, etc.), no wonder it has expired.
- Physical meltdowns. It is common with any illness, to have feelings that you just want to get over it. Well, suitcase syndrome definitely has a similar symptom. More than once near the end of our trip I heard, “I am so sick of living out of this suitcase.” The best expression of this was the moment when one child broke down and said, “I am done with this family! I need stability in my life.” That one made me smile and laugh a very long time.
The summer began on the east coast in New York, and the fun didn’t end until both northern and southern California had been enjoyed, with several stops in between. When we arrive back in New Delhi more than 25,000 miles will be logged on the trip, making it a summer full of memories. A HUGE thanks to each person that spent time with us, hosted us, and filled our buckets so that we can return to India. Although we have had enough of suitcase living, we will never get enough of….
Clean Air…. (One of the best quotes of the trip occurred on Day 2 …”The sky must be higher here!”)
As I fold and pack the clothes one more time before getting on that plane, I know “suitcase syndrome” brings some great blessings – the desire to get to sleep in your own bed and be in your own bedroom even if it takes 20+ hours to get there on an airplane. Thank you summer 2015 for an incredible time!