birthday, the good company of constant companions and the joy of family during the holidays. It’s been rewarding and surreal, to be back in my home town after so much time on the road. I see the landscape with different eyes. Familiar buildings take amorphous shapes. People and places flash by in a slew of scenes. The old neighborhood looks new again. So foreign yet such the same. After the initial shock of being back in the states settled squarely, a period of intense physical training and rush to earn income captured me. I split my weeks between Crossfit and work, just sparing enough time to nosh at home between meetings. Eventually, a calm lethargy slipped into my mental well being, enforced by steady
repetition and monotony. I didn’t quite realize how much the pattern had progressed, until my lovingly fierce and independent sister pointed it out to me one day. I couldn’t sleep that night, two days from going away - another journey on the horizon and another chapter to pen. She’s right. I could always feel it under the surface of my skin, a slow steady pulse pounding from within. Something desperate to break free and leave behind this life of complacency. I had embraced it fully, savoring the indulgences and cultural gluttony. Joyful to be home with my loved ones and family, but slipping into the same patterns of behavior that stunted me before my leave. I guess I anticipated the inevitable lull - the moment where you put your compulsive urges and desires before your spiritual and personal needs - I just didn’t see it happening so quickly. Christmas comes and goes. The jubilation of the season lilts and browns like the needles on the tree. After rushed merriment and condensed pleasantries, the crux of the celebrations were spent and everyone retired to their respective responsibilities. My siblings and I spent it in front of the warmth emanating from our sputtering, smoking clay chiminea on the porch. Glasses of wine in hand,
blankets over our legs and the fragrant crisp winter air on the breeze, we savored the moment and got lost in the leisure of idle conversation and luxury. By the time the glowing embers had shrunk down to pebbles of white hot ash in the bowels of the chimney it was silent, and the peace and solitude of the neighborhood crept in. Soon I leave for my next big journey, across the endless web of concrete strands that span this great country. From the heart of Texas, to the rugged flat irons of Colorado, and eventually the breathless fog rolled scene of San Francisco and Northern Cali. This month of rest, work and recuperation has left me bottled up and ready to burst at the seams. No plans to be made, no ideas of what may be, just the open acceptance of the way of the road and trusting fully in whichever direction it may lead. I’m ready to get back into the rhythm of travel, to live each day with open eyes, no idea where it might take me. All I know is the familiar comfort and peace of packing the same bag that saw me safely this past year through 28 countries. It feels good - reassuring - and with my whole life snugly wrapped into one single place I closed my eyes in my old bed for one last night. Drifting consciously and half aware into a furtively found sleep before taking off again into the face of the unknown.
So I've been home for exactly one month now. I’ve seen the feasting and football for Thanksgiving, a very humbling and serene 29