The Odd ‘Twilight Zone’ of Not Knowing When I’ll Visit the US Again

I have no idea when I’ll return to the US to visit my family.

Writing these words out feels strange enough, let alone allowing the reality to settle into my post-pandemic mind. But it’s the truth. I really don’t know when it might happen.

There are a lot of reasons why it just isn’t feasible, particularly the fact that for foreigners from the US, getting back to China isn’t a sure thing. Add to that the pricey quarantine required on return to China, the budget-busting cost of international airline travel, the Delta variant ravaging the globe, and the spike in anti-Asian hate in the US, and it loses any potential allure it might have held.

The pandemic has injected a massive dose of uncertainty into many of our lives around the world in myriad (and often unwelcome) ways, including this bizarre “twilight zone” surrounding travel to the US.

I’d love to see my family in the US sooner than later, but I suspect later will prevail. Nobody knows how this will play out or what other pandemic-related surprises might stun us in the near future. 

Still, I count myself fortunate in many ways. I have a loving husband who is a seemingly endless source of wonderful things, from tender hugs to tantalizing home-cooked meals. And I have a family back in the US with the understanding and patience to wait until it’s the right time to meet again.

In the meantime, I expect this “twilight zone” of my life to continue “airing” a little while longer. Stay tuned.

Jocelyn Eikenburg
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  1. I haven’t been back to Asia since 2017. That’s an eternity. For the reasons you mentioned, you’re not missing out on much here Stateside.

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