It is hard to leave a city that you has become part of you, but after three and a half years in Chennai, my time time in India has drawn to a close. In July my wife and I packed up our apartment in Kilpauk and took a melancholy taxi ride to the airport to catch a flight back to the United States. When I arrived in India I didn’t know much about what it meant to be a journalist in a foreign country, but I’ve had the opportunity to write some ambitious and thought provoking articles on a range of subjects (from skeleton traders, to the introduction of the world’s cheapest car). I’ve seen some of the best and the worst things that happen in South Asia, and I feel lucky to have been a witness.

We decided to move back to the United States when my wife, Padma, was accepted into the masters program in Anthropology at Columbia University in New York. She has handed over the reigns of the Shakti Center to the capable hands of Aniruddh Vasudevan, her comrade in arms since the founding of the organization. On my part, I’m going to be pretty busy for the next year writing a book about the international trade in human body parts and will likely be back in India for short trips during my research.

But merely arriving back in America and getting back down to work would be a terrible tribute to mark the change. So we decided that most fitting way to readjust to our home was to take a well-deserved victory lap around the country, starting from my mother’s house in Seattle, down to the Mexican border in San Diego, and then across the country through the deserts in the Southwest, the endless rough Texan terrain, to the ghostly remains of New Orleans, and up through Atlanta, Washington DC, and finally New York City.

Rather than give you a play by play of each stop, I thought I’d leave you with a few images of what we found on our American Odyssey. One thing is for sure: life’s adventures will not end now that I’m back home. In fact, it looks like they might just be beginning.

Padma tries on cowbow boots in Austin, Texas.

I shot a Glock in Atlanta. I’m a much better shot than I had expected. Evildoers Beware!

Finding the high school Mascot of my dreams.

A 40 foot cactus in Arizona.

Padma invents a new sport: Katana Beerball.