Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back to Reality

I'm back from Europe and I can hardly believe I'm expected to go to work tomorrow. How can this be? I just took an Ambien so I can hopefully get a semi-normal night of sleep before facing what I'm sure will be a hard slap of reality tomorrow.

I had a great trip. A great trip. If I had to summarize, I would say it was mostly full of potato strudel and goulash, hanging out with street musicians, Cold War history, shitty buses and trains that I loved, and there was a significant amount of gelato involved. I met five great people at different parts along the way; I had a little Pope here, a little Pope there, and ignored famous, smelly old churches and temples as much as possible. I walked more than the inventor of walking ever intended one to walk. I saw a movie and two concerts. I read a Solzhenitsyn book (finally). I learned a tremendous amount of history and felt humbled over and over, both by the enormity of what I don't know and by the enormity of what I have.

At different times during the two weeks I had huge fun, I got lonely, I was bored, I was excited, I missed my family, I danced, I yelled, I cried, I laughed, laughed, laughed. I talked to myself. A lot. I considered my job and how I can maintain better perspective about it, I thought about my time in Japan and how my struggle with it has made it a part of who I am now; not just Japan, but the struggle. I looked forward to the future, I tried to make sense out of what I was experiencing. I thought about getting older and what I hope my life looks like as I continue to grow. I got lost, and I got lost, and I got lost again. I asked for help. I didn't ask for help. I was confident, and I was scared. Sometimes things went my way, sometimes they didn't. I worried over and over about how things would work out. And then I saw them work out. This is why I travel. Microcosm. It mirrors life.

I loved every place I went, and every city I visited was so good that I thought, it's going to be such a let down after this because it just can't get any better. And then it did. Every time. I'm going to try to do a few bullets of summary for each of the six cities and countries that I visited and post those soon. I think it will help to think through the trip from day one to day fourteen, and take a macro-type look at it. Schlepping my bag from bus to bus and train to train, and counting my underwear over and over to make sure I had enough before I could find laundry facilities again has left me deep into the micro. A review would probably help me continue to process.

So I've thrown some quick photos on my Flickr account, but I don't really *get* Flickr and where the hell is spell check on there, so I don't know if it's really ok. But it'll have to be for now, as Ambien is slowly dragging me off to bed. My bed! So thankful to be home.


  1. So happy you had a good time and made it back home safely!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post and I am smiling as I write this because I am particularly moved by your 3rd paragraph and the way you have expressed the range of emotions you were feeling. For me, this is what life is about - connecting with myself which allows me to feel and empathise with others. I don't live in a bubble. And I like this touching sentence too:

    "I learned a tremendous amount of history and felt humbled over and over, both by the enormity of what I don't know and by the enormity of what I have." I'm seeing someone who knows what they want. You've really got it going on girl. :D

    Take care, Denys.

  3. Welcome back! Wow, it sounds like you explored a lot within yourself at the same time as discovering a new part of the world. It's amazing how getting away from your familiar surroundings can focus you on what is important. I really need to travel again. I can feel the pressure building up in me. I just have one thing to sort out here first and then I'm off to explore the world (and myself).

    Looking forward to hearing more detail in your next posts.

  4. i'm glad you didn't die.

    seriously can't wait to hear more about the trip.

    and, i don't get flickr® either. either i'm internettarded, or it really does just blow it big time.

    i'm leaning towards the latter.

  5. Wow! What a trip--and great pictures, too! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned a lot about yourself along the way. It's so true--our struggles do indeed make us who we are. Glad to hear you had a healthy dose of gelato to sweeten the experience. Welcome home.

  6. Welcome back, LSL!!!

    I was so hoping - and knowing - that this was the kind of trip you would have. I'm off to look at your pictures now, and look forward to hearing more.

    Glad you're home safe. :)

  7. Hum...why is it now Tuesday and my blog reading aggregator is just now "seeing" your post from Sunday????

    Your trip sounds absolutely perfect. I wouldn't want to change a thing. Hope you were able to enjoy some of my suggestions and use my info. I'll be looking forward to hearing about that.....

  8. YAY your back !!!! I was counting down the days woman!! Anyway your trip sounds fabu but I for one ( or actually for 10)am gla dyou made it home safe and sound !! Welcome Home !!

  9. I just saw the photos. Beautiful. I do not believe I could have made such a journey. You possess a powerful core to your soul.

  10. Europe, the continent of love. Great to hear u loved it. Glad to hear you made it home safe.

    P.S. Lunesta kicks Ambien's ass. :)