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Chasing the Wind A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu

The Last Entry: Back in the Yay!

USA | Monday, 16 March 2009 | Views [346]

Back in the Bay Area, in my own bed, with more than just a backpack to pick out clothes from. I'm putting up last pictures from the last leg of my European trip.

Some last thoughts...

Even though I need to find a new job and I live at home again I would never take back those months roaming around free as a bird, going wherever the wind pushed me.  There are those who do it for longer, even years, and I only did it for about 4 1/2 months (if you don't count my extra 3 weeks in SoCal to visit various friends' extra beds before I committed coming back to the real world in the form of a responsible contributor to society).  When I started this, I knew it was an opportunity not afforded many people, so why not take it now while I could, while I have nothing tying me down. 

Things I didn't expect were funny things like Turkey being the Best Kept Secret in Europe, if not the whole world, for beautiful men.  Or ending up sleeping in the back of a pizza parlor in Croatia.  Or, as a little Cali girl, actually surviving the winter weather in godforsaken Paris (who lives like that?! It is COLD, people, what are you doing outside???).  Classic is the anticipation of turkey in Turkey for Turkey Day but riding a camel instead as there appears to be a shortage of such bird delicacies in that country.  Getting a ride from a no-English speaking Italian mama stranger on the Amalfi Coast is still pretty up there for best stories.  And all the free stuff we got were pretty awesome--if I were to write a book of The Truth About How to Travel for Cheap would start out with, "Rule #1: Be female.  Sorry guys, but the truth is you'd get around cheaper if you were a girl."

What surprised me the most, and most people I talk to who know me and my addiction of travel, was my homesickness.  It was around the holidays, and I never did Thanksgiving and Christmas away before, so that was hard.  But more than that, it was so hard not having anyone to relate to with spiritual matters.  I just felt dry and stifled and frustrated with myself because I am weak without accountability.  But also, I was kind of wandering around the world having fun and really no productive purpose.  That's fun, though, I get weary of after a while.

I figured out I really do want to do the Peace Corps.  In my 4 months nomading around Europe, it was an extended holiday meets cultural immersion program.  I wouldn't change that.  And it was an amazing time, of course!  If anything it makes me more excited that there that I could do out there that allows me to travel AND give back to a community. 

So until the next adventure, folks...hasta pronto.

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