September 27, 2018
Wow! It’s here – my last travel day!! I am saying “Fare Thee Well” to Europe this morning – or is it, “Until Next Time”?
As the “end” of anything can be bittersweet, particularly an adventure, so it is with this return to my home turf. I have been across the world for fifty-eight days, just four shy of two months. Of course I am anxious to feel my Pacific Northwest’s crisp, fall air and witness it’s gorgeous, autumnal colors sure to be in full fanfare now. I can’t wait to sleep in our own, (king sized!) bed, bathe in a shower I understand and dry with a towel that actually absorbs water after using a quality conditioner in my hair and as much soap as I want!! I am looking forward to getting my clothes really clean and perfectly dried and awaiting me unwrinkled. It will be great to have refrigeration at my disposal and the opportunity to prepare a hot meal when I choose. I will NOT miss the cigarette smoke! I am smiling already thinking of seeing my neighbors, my friends at the gym and to walking around my Beloved Kirkland – and to getting back to a healthier diet than the past two weeks of the sightseeing phase of my trip with less cheese, bread, salami and wine. And I even believe I will appreciate being in the same time zones of my family, to watching the end of the Major League Baseball season and to being able to more easily manage my fantasy football team from a laptop. Oh, and it will be a gift to generally count on toilet paper being in the bathroom – and to there Being a bathroom! Ahhh, the “little things” that now seem elevated in my heart & mind!!!
We needed to leave our hotel far too early considering what a long flight and day we knew lie ahead, had multiple flight delays amounting to an hour – and I was selected for an additional baggage check, though luckily I didn’t have to unload my now crammed full backpack!
During Delta Airlines’ “welcome aboard” spiel they expressed this concept that touched me – that the first step towards connection is departure. Traveling takes you to people, places and cultures other than your own and makes the world feel smaller. As we span this wonderful world of ours connections happen at every level. So true, so true. I feel incredibly blessed to have been inspired, capable and allowed to choose and execute this most recent departure. I met and formed connections with so many people from all around the world, experienced cultures of not only France and Spain, but also of the several regions and villages I travelled to and through (I believe I walked through over two hundred villages, hamlets and cities during my Camino and several others before and after.)
Another wonderful gift of travel is that the memories, feelings, connections, growth and mind/heart expansions continue even upon and after returning home, sweet home! (Airline meals – not so memorable…)
There’s just something to “getting back to normal”… Oh wait – my calendar says we are going to Canada tomorrow!!! Yippee, Another Adventure!! But first, I am savoring my first sunset back home in Kirkland – watching Thursday Night Football!