Welcome back! Wow, I almost didn't recognize you. How long has it been? It seems like forever since you left for Afghanistan. What a lucky guy, getting to take so many exotic trips halfway around the world with your best friends. Somebody's got a little travel bug, doesn't he? Sit down. I'm dying to hear all about it.

And promise you won't leave anything out—I want to hear every last detail!

So did you have a fantastic time over there? Over there in Afghanistan? You must have met so many interesting people. What's the weather like there? Probably a bit toasty, I'd imagine! From the looks of that amazing tan, I can tell you spent a lot of time soaking up the rays.

Wouldn't we all like to be in Afghanistan instead of cooped up inside all winter!

I'm kind of a dunce with geography, so bear with me here: Afghanistan's near Pakistan, right? What was the name of the part you were in? Kandahar? Maybe I'm naïve, but to my ears that just sounds so mysterious and alluring!

You, on the other hand, must be a seasoned traveler by now. Wasn't it just a few years ago that you were jetting off to Iraq all the time? You'd be there a year or so, come home for a few months, and then turn around and head right back. With the same group of guys, no less! I remember you kept extending your stay, again and again. There must be something magical about Middle Eastern culture that keeps drawing you there.

Gosh, you've spent so much time in that part of the world, your poor wife probably worried you'd never come back!

I noticed you were walking with a little limp when you came through the door—I hope that didn't happen on your trip! Going to the doctor when you're traveling is just the worst, isn't it? I wouldn't trust some rinky-dink clinic in Afghanistan to take my travel insurance. It was bad enough on my cruise to Ireland when I got so sick from the buffet I had to spend two days in the infirmary nibbling on crackers and sipping ginger ale!

That's no fun at all, I assure you. Nothing's worse than being laid up in bed while everyone else is having the time of their lives.

And what's all this I hear about you waking up in the middle of the night since you got back? That sounds just awful. You know what it probably is? It's probably that jet lag. When I got back from Ireland, I had the same exact problem. Have you tried melatonin? I don't what the time difference is in Afghanistan, but it might help you get back on a normal sleep schedule.

I shouldn't pry, though. Forget I asked! I want to hear about those mountains they have in Afghanistan. Because I love the mountains. You must have gotten to go hiking every day! I bet you really fell head over heels with the place, considering how long you stayed. Afghanistan must feel like a second home to you by now.

Would you ever consider buying property there?

By June I should have enough vacation days saved up for a big trip, and based on what I'm hearing, Afghanistan seems like a pretty unforgettable destination. Do you have any specific tips for the Afghanistan novice? If you go back again, I may just have to tag along! It's always more fun to see a place with someone who knows all the ins and outs. Did you and your travel pals learn any useful words or phrases?

Oh, speaking of which, that reminds me! Your friend Bill who went with you to Afghanistan—is he still over there? You guys left at the same time, so silly me, I thought you'd be coming back together, too. Last I heard from his family, they had just received this really neat folded American flag souvenir that they keep on their mantel.

Did you bring home any cool trinkets? With a trip as special as Afghanistan, I guess you probably have unique memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life, don't you? That's really, really neat.