Movement and placement in space is a lovely compliment; if I've done that, truly, I think I shall have to blush a little bit. The details of the story... oh my gracious I did have to think and possibly overthink that. RW, the world's greatest beta, deserves a lot of the credit for just enough/not too much detail on the story. I have a the backstory in my head, I know the plot, I know the details, I know what happened in North America, I know who was unaffected, but ultimately the story was about isolation, so none of that plot was relevant, despite my best intentions to write a plotty sort of fic. I liked the ambiguity, though, so it wasn't too hard to let go the bigger picture.
I think the 'drinking with the locals' admonishment is partly her way of distancing herself from the possibility that she would ever give up, in her absolutist sort of way; I don't think Sam would really ever be terribly inclined to go 'get drunk' anyway, so she can be self-rightous about it. Then she can go and lobotomize the 302 and not even place it in the same category, maybe it eases the sting of it, or maybe it's another apology she'll make.
Something I think is interesting is that Sam seems to be really black and white: committed to getting back to the SGC and world community or committed to a project for the little village she finds herself in, so it takes her longer to get there, and it might hurt a little bit more because she gives up so completely on the possibilty of fixing it. She'll say her good-byes, make her apologies, and make a new start, whereas Cam expected the worst, was pleasantly surprised, and made the best of it, all while leaving open the possibility that Teal'c would walk into town one day and announce that he had found them after a long and difficult search. Much more grey area, with Cam.
In a new start sense, though, where they take it is a totally different story, how they contribute to the community, if they reexamine their senses of self or hold to the same rules, cling to each other or make new places in the community. Very interesting jumping-off point.