Alright alright alright!

Hello again! Four months ago I docked in Newark Airport, expecting a refreshing holiday break before eagerly trotting back across the Pacific to pick up the road again in China. Well, wouldn’t you know that home has these benefits like lots of free food, a big bed to sleep in, and cell phone service? Needless to say I got a little tied up stateside.

But the months have passed with way more than just twiddling thumbs and Netflix binges. In fact, they’ve been decently productive. Here’s your Reader’s Digest:

December: Chocolate chip banana bread. Lots of it.

January: Excursions to New York, Durham, and Utah. Met a psychic medium. Tried to remember how to ski. Fell over skiing.

 

February: Yoga Teacher Certification in Asheville, NC. Om namo guru dev namo, y’all.

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Crossing Kentucky, bourbon country.

March: Picked up a gig through Craigslist delivering a stranger’s car from Washington DC to San Francisco. Learned how to drive stickshift. Did not inform client that I didn’t know how to drive stickshift before. All went well.

April: Extended visits with friends and family on West Coast. Rode the train from California all the way back to the Virginia coastline. Made some new friends (coming for you in Michigan someday, Vince! leave your job at the bakery, Brian!). Learned to solve a Rubiks cube.

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Super valuable skill.

And as of yesterday: Booked a flight to Portugal for this Friday. That’s right. In, like, a week.

Between the beautiful summer landscape in Europe (vs rainy season in Thailand), the numerous vacationers milling around, friends currently stationed there, and some good timing, it seems that the Old Continent calls for this new segment. I had expected to wait until next summer to traverse Europe, but damnit, Croatia just won’t wait.

I’m thrilled to get back on the road, and I hope I’ll find more travelling buddies to make the journey vibrant. If you’ve got relatives and friends living in the following places, let me know:

– Portugal: Lisbon and northward

– Spain: northern, the Camino de Santiago

– France: Pyrenees along southern coast

– Switzerland

– Germany: southern, Swiss border to Munich

– Austria

– Croatia

– Serbia (subject to change)

– Bulgaria (who knows where I’ll be by then!)

I’ve been packing up today, remembering the feel of the panniers and the weight of my gear. I’ve got a lot of quadriceps to build back up, but we’re going lighter than ever. While I’ve never traveled moneyless, I admire the many people I’ve met who pare down much more than I have, and I hope to emulate them more and more as I go.

A toast to this long-anticipated summer, and we’re off!