It was a dusty road, but a good one.
Four weeks have passed since I last wrote anything for this blog. Recovering from a bad bout of food-poisoning along with a four-day trek, three over-night bus rides, and keeping up with the most energetic 70+ year olds I have ever met, have all taken a lot out of me, and I have chosen to sleep in my spare time, rather than write. Oh, I have a draft or two here and there, and some wafting around in my mind, but nothing ready to post just yet. I will post them…sometime soon…but in the mean time I couldn’t let this last day of our days abroad go by without sharing a thought or two.
As our plane sat on the runway in the crisp air of this morning’s chilly dawn, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Victory. We made it. A little bit scarred, perhaps a bit thinner, survived bad haircuts, a few disastrous bus rides and hotel rooms, got sick a few times—but we made it. And we had so much fun while it happened. And sometimes not so much fun. But it was a good trip.
I didn’t spend very much time thinking about what it would be like to be leaving finally. More of my thoughts have been spent thinking about what it will be like to arrive home and how I will feel: Happy? Sad? Nostalgic? What will it be like to completely change my lifestyle of the last 21 months? The answers will slowly start to show in the next few weeks. But for now I want to break down this victorious feeling I have.
This is not what I expected to be feeling on the plane this morning. It’s like the pleasure of winning race you have spent a long time practicing for. And the triumph of having, perhaps not overcoming, but at least to have survived the perils of dubious sanitation and food over the last couple of months (and be on my way home). I am not a believer of Nietzsche’s, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” because I think that that which didn’t kill me has kind of jacked me up. But I do find strength and hope in knowing I will eventually be fully recovered. And it is nice to know I’m coming to a “safer” place where even if I will never look at peanut butter the quite the same, at least I will feel secure brushing my teeth in the tap water.
Finally, there is an accomplishment in having “done” this crazy dream. The dream, or in my opinion at the time, delusion, started sometime around Matt’s first time in India, and during my whirlwind of a trip visiting him. I had had a really uncomfortable last 24 hours, and we had just boarded a train bound for Delhi, where I would be leaving from in a couple of days. We shared the cabin with another couple, maybe five or six years older than us. They were also finishing up a trip—seven months on the road. They didn’t have jobs. I thought they were crazy—what type of adult quits his or her job and gallivants around? Matt, on the other hand, thought they had a good idea, and over the next year, proceeded to make me believe the same. We graduated. We got married. And we worked. We ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and we pined away at the big map on our wall during dinner.
And then we left, and were finally swept up in the randomness and adventure that happens in dreams. And like with all good dreams when over, I hope to pick up in the same dream again one day.
This is not the end of the blog (coming soon: Hawaii and all my other posts…oh yeh, those…), but for now here’s a little song.
And so I’m [flying over] the sea
To an island where we’ll [be]
You’ll hear the music fill the air
I’ll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through the trees
Move so pretty you’re all I see
As the world keep spinning ‘round
You hold me right here, right now
I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where [we] have been
Lucky to be coming home
I’m lucky we’re in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home [to]day
(modified lyrics to Lucky, by Jason Mraz)