Back in California, back to reality...kind of...

Trip Start Sep 28, 2006
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Trip End May 04, 2007


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 4, 2007

My flight from Miami to San Francisco landed at 11:36 am, and I must say it felt strange but very good to be home. I wasn't used to arriving in the morning, as I usually fly into this airport from New York in the evening. Dad met me at baggage claim, and we stopped for a bite on the way home. As usual after returning from a great adventure abroad, I was a complete chatterbox during the entire 1 1/2 hour car ride to Santa Cruz. Dad dropped me off at home and went back to work to see his afternoon patients, leaving me alone with a backpack of dirty stuff, boxes that I had never unpacked after my NYC move, and many strong emotions and incoherent thoughts.  

I decided that I didn't want to deal with cleaning or unpacking. It was a perfect Spring day, and I had weeks of unplanned days (which is both wonderful and scary at once) to tackle that disaster awaiting me in my room. I instead spent the afternoon basking in the sun on my deck, relaxing and simply trying to grasp the fact that my South America adventure was over. All kinds of things raced through my mind as I looked back at the past 8 months: all of the things I did, the things I didn't get to do, the places that were rushed or not even included on my itinerary, the people I met, wondering if I'll see them again, wondering what will happen with Sam, wondering what was in store for me now...But surpassing these thoughts was an intense feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for having had so many unique experiences and for being back in California safe and healthy. Gratitude that I had had one of the best years of my life. Gratitude that I had taken a risk and accomplished what I had set out to achieve--on the most basic level, traveling around South America by myself.

So, you may be asking yourself if my time abroad was in fact a panacea for my quarter-life crisis. Well, no trip can solve everything, at least not permanently. I still feel lost and anxious about my future. I still have no idea what I want to do with myself career-wise. I still like my material things and can't wait to get back into shape. But on the whole, I feel better. Infinitely happier and healthier. More confident, comfortable, and relaxed. Far more prepared to tackle whatever lies ahead, to deal with whatever challenges come my way. Less anal about everything. My perspective has changed dramatically, which is apparent simply by comparing my early blog entries with my later ones. I look back and am embarrassed by some of the things I wrote! I feel this crazy, positive energy that I will hold onto it for as long as possible! I really do feel like anything is possible at this moment...

My 8 months are up and I am back in California now with very little money to my name, but believe me, the journey certainly has not ended...
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