The Beginning and the End

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Looking out over the Bay of Biscayne, waiting in excited anticipation for hurricane Isaac to make his fateful mark in Southeast Florida, I find myself coming to the inevitable realization that summer vacation will come to a screeching halt in a week’s time.

Mother Nature has sent an ominously clear message that it’s time to put the brakes on this whirlwind summer…message received! She knows I should wind down, get some rest, and recharge my batteries for the long school year ahead. After all, Mother knows best. But, Father Time says I still have one more week to make the most of what has been one unforgettable ride. Tic toc…

This summer has been an incredible journey if ever there was one. Eighteen flights and three continents in just two months was nothing short of, well, crazy. Winding the clock back to June, when summer was a wide open door with infinite possibilities, the end wasn’t given even the slightest nod. I had two whole months…forever, really…to relax, explore, sleep in, to do everything or absolutely nothing. So, there I sat in my living room with a glass of wine after the last day of school, travel docs and itineraries and important contact information fanned out on the table in front of me. Suddenly what had been an idealized vacation months down the road was now laid out before me, passport and visas and suitcases and all. And I was going to do all of this alone? It’s a good thing I had that glass of wine.
Alone being the operative word here, I felt downright paralyzed with fear at times at the thought of traveling thousands of miles to the far reaches of the globe without Jeff. You see, I’m not exactly the most sensible passenger. Who would be there to reassure me that the plane wasn’t going down after every bump and thump on board? I felt sorry for my unfortunate future seat companions. But when put to the test, it turns out I have memorized Jeff’s explanation of the science behind aviation and aerodynamics and that no plane has ever gone down due to turbulence. I played this recording over and over in my mind because as it turns out, most of my flights were some of the most turbulent I have ever flown.
Surviving all eighteen flights alone (and I say surviving purposefully), has rewarded me with a liberating sense of empowerment. I was able to go home for the first time in years during the summer months and spend quality time with loved ones. Exploring the bewildering rustic beauty of only a small part of Southeast Asia was just the tip of the iceberg. Once back in Barcelona, Anne, Alex, and I repeatedly asked the question, “Why does Asia have to be so far away!?” Despite the distance, I know there will be more far-flung odysseys in the not so far future.
My greatest take-away from this summer’s odyssey cannot be defined by one single event or place, but rather a culmination of what the past two months have come to stand for. Love, passion, curiosity, excitement, and a little bit of fear; these are the emotions that drove me to make a plan and stand for it even if I wanted to back out…even if the last thing I wanted was to board another flight. Two months is all the time in the world to make something happen, but the clock is ticking ever closer to September 3 which means I’ve got a little bit of time left to make the most of Summer 2012.
Tic toc…tic toc…

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