It's been a long month, full of heat, baseball, and beer. We've gotten dusty on the inside and are ready to go home, feel the salt air.
This place has been better than we'd expected. Live somewhere for a while and stereotypes dissolve. What's easy to say about a location and its people from far away is more difficult to maintain when you get closer.
Go most anywhere and you'll find folks that disprove theories about the type of folks you'll find there. You'll find plenty of the other kind, of course; that's how the stereotypes evolve in the first place. But if you dig a little, you'll end up where you belong and be able to focus on the good rather than the bad.
Like many things in life, seeking the good requires effort. It's easier to cling to preconceptions and remain bigoted. But it's more rewarding to find real people that transform the place from a two-dimensional movie set into a living, breathing three-dimensional space.
Still, there are aspects that make us appreciate home: bicycles on sidewalks, freeways that go in circles. The occasional racist? Sure, but we have those as well. They aren't hard to find.
Seeing the world from a different vantage point, if only for a brief time, helps give perspective. This is good because without multiple perspectives, it's easy to believe that ours is the only view, the only way.
That illusion is no longer possible to maintain after we've seen how untrue it is. The hope is that we'll remember this lesson after we've gone and returned to our normal lives, slipped into more familiar routines and patterns of thinking.
Don't be lazy. That's harder than it sounds, but it can be done. Start moving in the right direction, let inertia do the rest.