Last week I flew back to the US and will be on this side of the ocean until New Year’s Eve. I have some new responsibilities that are easier for me to take care of from here for a few months. I’ll be based in Minnesota, but will do a fair bit of traveling. My first trip begins in an hour, when my mother, sister, and I will hop in our rental car and set out for Santa Barbara, California. We’re giving ourselves five days to get there and we plan to stay off the freeways, taking as many "scenic highways" as we can. We’re taking the semi-northern route, across Nebraska and southern Wyoming, down into Colorado, across Utah and Nevada, entering California via Death Valley, and on into Santa Barbara. Should be quite the adventure. After spending the last 3 years traveling around China so much, I’m really looking forward to this road trip across the West as a good way to reconnect with the US . I’m sure it will be a cultural experience! If I find places to get connected along the way, I’ll post some photos and updates.