europe: flight home

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Not soon enough! I’m currently in the air en route to Paris and then JFK, NY! We just flew over the French Alps—beautiful, snow-capped mountains.

I met an interesting fella at lunch at the airport today. He was an experimental physicist working in a lab outside of Chicago smashing particles together at high speeds. Who knows—a couple of different twits and turns in my life and I might have been just like him.

Looking back over the last 6 or so weeks I can say I learned a lot on this marathon trail. I saw different countries and sites and re-acknowledged how similar and vastly different countries can be. Mostly, though, I’ve learned about myself and travel mates—regrettably, or perhaps thankfully, not friends. What I learned is difficult to put into words. I’ve spent a lot of time alone and with my thoughts on this trip—when I wasn’t racking up thousands of dollars on phone card calls.

Rather silly, huh?

As we careen over miles of foreign countries with Platypus safely stowed in the belly of the plane, I am feeling quite relieved and unbelievably happy to be heading home. I miss my family and clean bathrooms and beds. But mostly I miss the safety and security of home—being my own boss and not having to carry my life on my back. I began the trip jokingly telling people that I might not be coming back, that I might just find the life of a rootless, carpetbagging vagabond my life’s dream. If anything, such a dream turned out way too nightmarish for me to even joke about anymore.