Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Final Chapter (I think!)

August 8, 2012
Alfred, NY

Its been over a week since I've been home and while things are starting to feel more and more normal everyday its still a pretty big transition for me. I've been truly surprised at how quickly I can go from meeting countless new people and traveling to new cities on an almost daily basis back to sitting in front of Netflix watching episode after episode of whatever I'm currently into (right now its Scrubs!). Everything still doesn't really feel back to normal for me at all, but doing little things like actually grocery shopping for real and restocking your fridge certainly helps.

Every time I come home from a big trip it seems to get harder and harder to reconcile the changes that have taken place though. Sitting with friends I feel like I'm truly overflowing with stories I'm sure they'll get sick of, but the hardest part is feeling like you've accomplished something that only you really know what you did. You can try to explain and every once and now and then you'll get the satisfaction of a truly captivated audience, but it still doesn't seem like enough. Besides, you can only work into a conversation that you went on an 8,000 mile motorcycle ride down to Mexico so many times before even you yourself start to feel like a broken record, but thankfully I'm not there yet.

One of the hardest parts about coming home is that you know you've changed inside as a person, but it seems like no one else has. In the last two months I've dealt with more obstacles, more on your toes challenges, and triumphed more times than I probably deserve so I know those changes are real. I've traveled alone through countless states in both the US and Mexico, and through couch surfing and the hostels I've met more people I will never forget so I feel deep down that with these experiences change is inevitable. Just how deep those changes really are is still questionable though and I'm curious to see if my diligence to details, planning skills, and new found appreciation for paying closer attention to small things (like listening closely to my engine for hundreds of miles on end for any signs of trouble) learned on the trip will hold over to my work life, but I won't be holding my breath. When you think about it everyone has changed; everyone has done something with their summer that you didn't get to do, but you still feel that somehow somethings different. You've accomplished something that you know most of your friends and acquaintances never will and that fact is pretty hard to accept. While these feelings of separation are without a doubt getting better everyday its still going to be a continuing struggle to accept the tedium of everyday life, but thankfully when the students get back in a week or so I'll be able to dive head first into that.

Either way, for all the confused and doubtful looks I received before I left when trying to explain my plans I now know that I can do it, and I did though I never had any doubts. Riding back into town over a week ago I felt victorious once again confirming that anyone can really do anything they want to if they put their minds to do especially if they've decided they will succeed. For me the question that if you life was a book would anyone read it plays heavily on the choices I make, yet I do these things for no one but myself. I can say that I've lived in 3 countries, have traveled to many more, have backpacked for two months across the amazing country of Brazil, and have taught English in Nicaragua for two months as well, but now I can add to that list saying that I've taken an incredible motorcycle voyage to Mexico and back as well. It wasn't always easy everyday, but it was unquestionably one of the best things I've ever done in my life, and the benefits far out weighed the difficulties.

Now without hesitation I list this last voyage off as a real accomplishment but I'm also aware that I didn't achieve everything that I had wanted to do. I made it no further South then Mexico city, and certainly failed to enter into the other countries that I had wanted to visit. But the truth is that I'm okay with that. I said in the beginning of the blog its the journey that matters and like I've said I'm sure to peoples annoyance countless time before, the journey was mind blowing. While I didn't get to see the places I planned, the people I met along my way and shared parts of my journey with far outweighed an sights that I missed. Whats for sure is there will be a next time and I'll be back to adventure traveling as soon as possible. If that will be by bike I really can't answer, but if the opportunity presented itself I know I'd be up for it. Back in New York it will still be riding season for at least a couple more months and I plan on taking as many mini trips by bike as I can. Its been a while since I've visited one of my favorite places in New York State: the Adirondacks, so that will probably be my next destination for now. After that I plan on trying to meet up with some incredible new inspiring friends around the world from Washington state, Mexico, and as far away as New Zealand, but for now we'll just have to see how things go and where life takes me next. I'm not too worried though...

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