This is the first time I'll be missing 4th of July celebrations in America. I'm going to miss it even more considering the relatively few 4th of July celebrations put on by the American expat community have been cancelled in the wake of recent events. This includes even unofficial parties, like the YLC BBQ, which is disappointing. It's almost cliche to say that you appreciate America most when you've been overseas and seen the difference, but it's only cliche because it's so true. I'm in the middle of 6 months over here, between Oman and Yemen, with less than a month in between the two. Spending this much time in the region has really made me miss certain parts of home. Most of the time its easy to forget about it everything back home since we're so busy, but the 4th of July definitely can make a wayward traveler homesick. At times, the idea of being in a country that doesn't have to worry about car bombs, or secret police, or targeted killings almost seems like some mythical paradise. So, with the 4th of July just another day here in al-Yemen, I'm once again reflecting on the meaning(s) of freedom, and at least for one day, wishing I was back home.