I have always thought the the way there is the best part of any trip. It's never really about the destination, it's the journey and the experience. This has been a wonderful experience. I'm sure that I can't even put into words the way that I have felt during this trip. The people that I have encountered along the way have made this much more than I have ever anticipated. Being able to re-acquaint myself with old friends, meeting new ones and the kindness of strangers always astounds me.
Chance has been on my side more than once. Being able to meet with Teresa in Nebraska after a near 5 year absence was astounding. The timing could not have been planned. The kindness of people that I have never met (Jared the hitchhiker, Brent and Peter in SF, and Trish; Aarons mother and Eric in Austin), and the ones that I have only met briefly (Judy); was so much more than expected.
Arriving in Austin on the morning after the massacre at Ft Hood....a somber experience, the news constant and the flags at half-mast.
Hours alone on the road with the reflections of my own thoughts. Finally understanding that as much as others touch my life, maybe I am leaving a mark on them along the way too. It's a good feeling.
I have been very lucky to be blessed with so many friends in my life. I have to remind myself that they are there...sometimes, I feel alone because the friends I have are so far away; but I guess they are only as far away as I make them.
I am over half-way finished with the trip; a trip that I had expected to be about two weeks and I am already three weeks on the road. Lots of good times had and hopefully many more to come!
Note: To EVERYONE; Please realize how important you are to me and how much each of you has affected my life. I truly mean it when I say that I want to return your hospitality (so get those flights to Germany booked!). Letting me crash on your couch or occupy a spare bedroom was much appreciated; especially when you have important things going on in your lives and my planning was at best last minute.