Before I left on this big journey, and since I’ve been on it, people have asked me how I thought I would do or how I am doing being away from home for this long. Well, since I gave up my home, it’s more complicated than perhaps it would be otherwise, but I have found that I’ve done better than I thought I would thus far. I have moments when I find myself thinking of being back home, and I picture myself in my house (it’s going to take a while longer before thinking of it that way is gone), and then I catch myself and realize that that part of my life has passed, and a new unknown chapter awaits.
Before leaving Seattle, I really hoped that I would be able to just be in the moment, wherever I was, and not be thinking about the past, or the future, but just enjoying wherever am I now. And I have been pleasantly surprised that I’ve been able to do that. Travel to unfamiliar places sort of forces that in a way, in that it takes a certain amount of concentration and mental energy to navigate a new environment, whether it’s for a few hours, days, or longer. I’ve got lost many times during this trip, and then found my way again just as many time. I’ve made all the classic mistakes and blunders that tourists make, and survived. I’ve met wonderful people and many furry and feathered creatures along the way. And I still don’t think that I’ve fully processed that I don’t have an address.
A large part of why I’ve fared so well is that I waited so long to do this, so I’m savoring every ounce of it. Many have asked “What’s your favorite thus far?”, and it’s impossible to choose, as each place has been special in its own way. When I was on the train from Nice to Milan, while it made its way along the Riviera, before going north into the countryside, I started to think about it this way: Germany is my mental attitude, the Netherlands is my social attitude, France is my heart, and Italy is my soul. There’s also love in there for Austria and Switzerland. The French Riviera will make your eyes smile and sparkle, and the Italian Riviera will make your heart smile and ache.
So that’s how I’m doing. Every day is a gift.