7/30/10   –   10:38

I write to you from the comfort of my living room. The same one pictured in one of the first entries where my stuff is strewn on the floor and I was exasperated wondering how I was going to fit my life in a bag for two months.

I won’t bore you with how long the flight was or every little thing I did, which is what I’ve been doing with these entries for the past month. I’ll just say that this trip was amazing. I met a whole bunch of people, made a million memories, and came out a stronger individual [at least, I think.] But that’s what these trips are about, right?

For now, though, I’m glad to be in one place for more than a couple of days. I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about where I’m sleeping tonight or if I’ll have time to make dinner or when I have to wake up to check out. I’m glad that there’s air conditioning [because Florida is currently hot as balls] and that people drive on the correct side of the road. Most of the time.

There are some things I’ll miss, of course:
– Awesome food pretty much everywhere [especially Sra. Ana’s cooking]
– The variety and availability of Fanta flavors
– Strangers being nice and helpful about 95% of the time.
– The drinking age or lack thereof
– Using foreign languages every day
– Always having something to do
– The immense sense of history ingrained in every place
– Strange grocery store adventures

And here are some things I won’t:
– My shitty Dia % toothpaste
– Having to pay to use the restroom
– The dearth of water fountains
– Not being able to call or text
– Relying on public transport
– People hawking souvenirs at every monument
– The cost of living in Europe

I got a lot out of this trip. And I feel like I’m not quite the same person I was beforehand. I’m less afraid to strike up conversation with strangers–though I can’t promise that I’m any less awkward. I’m [surprisingly] less of an alcoholic–we’ll see how that holds up. I feel like I’ve drawn closer to my family despite and even because of the distance. I am more aware of myself as an American and as a global citizen. I saw and did things that some people only dream of seeing and doing as well as several things I never want to see or do again. But that’s part of life, no? And we all have our story.

If I learned one thing, it’s just that. Every one of us has a story. All 6.7 billion of us–and counting. People come from everywhere, doing a billion different things, and we’re all interesting. Even the people who think they aren’t. And no matter how wildly disparate we may seem, there are still the ties that bind us together, allowing me to connect with someone over a beer in a quiet English pub or in a crowd of screaming World Cup fans.

In all honesty, though, it’s good to be back. This is really random, but I like to think that my iPod knows me and alters the shuffle list accordingly. It really showed while I was on my way to Heathrow Airport. The song “Sailing Home” from the Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack came up on shuffle and then faded immediately into “Postcards from Far Away” by Coldplay. The transition was so seamless that I thought it was one song. And here’s my attempt at crossfading them together. I hope you understand what I meant and what I heard.

This was the second time I’ve flown into Fort Lauderdale International at night. The first time, about a year ago, I looked out the window and saw Fort Lauderdale lit up in all its blazing neon glory. My mom, in an unexpectedly poetic turn of phrase, compared it to a jewelry box that had been upturned and strewn over a black table. And that’s a pretty accurate description. The street lamps of Fort Lauderdale’s cookie-cutter residential suburbs glowed in gold and silver grids and swirls, accented by the ruby, emerald, and sapphire neon signs dotting the landscape. You could see it ending abruptly as it gave way to the water, which was an expanse of pitch black. You see, we may not have the dime a dozen medieval castles or millennia of history on the world stage, but home has its own beauties.

In closing, I’d like to thank you, whoever you are, for reading. Even if you only got through half of an entry before you decided that this guy doesn’t know how to write and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m content with what I put up here and like I said, it was mostly for me anyway. [And you too, Sandar. Bahaha] If you enjoyed it, I’m glad you did and I’d like to encourage you to go to Europe and experience it for yourself. There are definitely ways to make it financially feasible and it’s a life-changing experience. In fact, travel in general is. And there’s no better time than now. In short: Do it.

But yes. Thanks one last time for reading, and I’ll catch ya later.

2 Responses to ““home””
  1. Sandra says:

    Oh Chancoco… [harhar]

  2. Guano says:

    hear hear!

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