The car is still not unpacked due to constant rain, but regardless things are slowly falling back into place. I'm registering for classes this fall, taking my dog Bess for walks, and generally settling back into life in New Jersey. During my last week of the trip I was itching for home, now two and a half months don't seem nearly long enough.
I dutifully kept up with the blog in the interest of honing my writing skills, and for my effort I now have a wonderful keepsake of my journey. Some posts are better than others, to be sure. I sometimes barely had the time to edit simple typos, let alone grammar and syntax. But I do believe I achieved my goal of keeping it entertaining and informative.
I can't thank you enough for reading the blog this summer. Yes, you. If you liked what you read, tell me! If you didn't and have constructive criticism, tell me! You can leave a comment on this blog or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During my time in Australia a few years ago, I took a nine-day trip from Adelaide to Perth with Nullarbor Traveler. The members of the trip were the usual United Nations gathering of a dozen young people, with the odd addition of a 60-year-old Sydney-sider named John. He was suffering from a degenerative eye disease and was attempting to see what he could of his home country before his eyesight failed him completely. At the end of our journey, Amanda from Holland asked John if he had any words of wisdom for us. He said he was so glad we were taking advantage of traveling while still young, so that we might "get it out of our systems" before starting careers. The problem is, that trip and others only served to get it into my system, and now travel is all I want to do.
I'm going to start sounding like Po Bronson or bloody Oprah any minute now, but it's true that not enough people spend time doing what they truly want to be doing. When I stood in Abigail's kitchen in Butte, Montana at 1:30am and she asked me if I was happy, it was a pleasure to be able to realize that yes, I was happy. I was traveling and writing about it (even if I wasn't getting paid for it yet). That's exactly what I want to do.
I am equal parts amazed and disappointed that I managed to complete the Great American Roadtrip - coast to coast, border to border - and come away completely unscathed. No broken bones, flat tires, muggings or break downs of any sort can be truthfully mentioned.
On a scale of batshit crazy, 10 being a barfight with the cast of "Charles in Charge" and 1 being a quiet night at home with a Leonard Cohen album and a glass of lemonade, I'd say this trip was about a 5. Sleeping in the car and getting woken up by the police, picking up hitchhikers, chasing ghosts in Texas and taking on the Grand Canyon in one day were all pretty crazy. All those hours in Starbucks and libraries were decidedly not. At some points of the trip I felt I would sell my soul for use of the internet.
Regardless of what happened, or what I wish would have happened, the trip is mine. Mine to savor, mine to brag about, to laugh about, to regret, to remember fondly on some dark winter's day while at Rowan in the coming months.
Some people told me I'm lucky to have taken this trip. I'm not lucky. I simply found something I wanted to do and I did it.
I'll leave you with a final thought, a refrain, if you will, first visited in the prologue: what is it you want from this world, and when are you going to take it?