A little while since my last post – and a few changes since I was running around the sub-continent and southeast Asia. I left Cambodia about five weeks back – and after a five flight marathon, arrived in Phoenix, USA, where my better half Nicole is studying a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (free massages woop!)
I’d initially had plans to stay here for a while before heading for a role in the Marshall Islands for another solar related volunteer gig, but that’s unfortunately fallen through, so my schedule adjusted a bit over the past month – and I’m about to opt for a change of pace and move back into the professional world for the next little while. The US Southwest is a pretty exciting place to be right now if you’re into renewables, so I’ve managed to line up a range of interesting possibilities in my short time here, and things are looking up – with some job offers on the table in some really exciting renewable based roles.
Although I started this blog to focus on my travels and my various volunteering roles in the sub-continent and southeast Asia, I’ve really enjoyed putting it together, and sharing my thoughts and perspectives with you guys – so, I’m going to keep posting – and even though 9-5’s aren’t quite so interesting as running around with a backpack, I think I can still provide some half decent content to you all.
Today, I want to touch quickly on some first impressions of being back in the US. I’ll also put together a separate post detailing my experience last week with an organization called Grid Alternatives – who install low to no cost solar systems for low-income families across the US – very cool stuff.
So – Phoenix. If Phnom Penh felt ordered compared to Delhi, then Phoenix is on a whole new level. We’re living in Gilbert, which is actually a suburb east of centre, and quite honestly, if you put all your images of American suburbia into a pot and mixed them up, Gilbert would be the result. The houses look the same, the streets are all in a stock standard grid layout, SUVs are everywhere, American flags are dotted everywhere you look, we’re within five minutes drive of a Walmart, a Walgreens and a cinema… and the local high-school is a short walk away, and even has Friday Night football!
This took a bit of getting used to to be honest – along with the initial disappointment of the Marshalls falling through, and the initial job hunt being a bit tough (as it always is), my first fortnight or so here wasn’t so exciting. But – as with anywhere, if you go out hunting with a good attitude, there are all kinds of awesome places to check out! We’ve had some cool nights out near the Arizona State University campus, there’s some great hiking within an hours drive of us, and I’ve even managed to find a pretty competitive cricket league to get amongst each weekend.
So that’s pretty much my message today – although my immediate location might not be as exotic as Ladakh or Phnom Penh or Kathmandu, that doesn’t make life boring by any means – there’s still going to be worthwhile stories to share, and interesting activities on a regular basis – just like the little pockets of fun we’ve been finding all over town since arriving.
Check out some photos of desert life below… including cacti, scorpions, halloween pumpkins and some good old fashioned sunsets.