It has been a nice run, hasn’t it? At 4.5 months, this has been the second longest trip of my life (the first being the 2+ years’ travel adventure that started this blog back in 2006). This trip was never destined to be the mid-life crisis shakeup that earlier trip turned out to be. This trip was about taking an opportunity that presented itself, rather than letting it slip by. That said, it is impossible (I hope, anyway) to travel so much without it changing you, without it leaving a mark. The whole reason for travel is to be exposed to new cultures, new climates, new experiences, new ways of thinking, and of course new foods. To learn from what is beyond the border of your experience, and then integrate those lessons into your world view. Travel pushes you to live in the present moment like no other experience I know, because you can’t rely on routine and habit to navigate it, you need to really pay attention.
The past months have taken me to a wonderfully diverse set of places away from my home in New York. Colombia, California, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, India, Turkey, and finally Portugal. I have seen amazing places, met wonderful people, tasted amazing food. I have figured out logistics in a variety of foreign places and languages, some very easy and some maddening difficult. I have spent time with friends old and new. And although I knew this trip would make my finances take a hit, it was totally worth it. Some people might feel exhausted after such a long journey, but I feel invigorated. While I am definitely looking forward to getting home, it is less about a particular place and set of familiar things than it is about the people I know and love there, people I have missed.
I was expecting to miss most of the winter in New York, and I suppose I have, but it is bone-chillingly cold there at the moment and I guess I will still have about a month or so of winter to experience. Just as well, I will be snug in my apartment, chipping away at the large amount of work I have let pile up over the past few months. I am currently at the Lisbon airport, awaiting my flight to New York. See you all on the other side of the Atlantic.