I have seven weeks left in Europe before I board a plane to my beloved California. A place I think off fondly and a place that conjures beautiful visions for people who have never been but have seen plenty of images from films and Television. When I tell people where I’m from, they have a twinkle in their eye and their face lights up. A reminder that where I come from is a place where people from around the world fancy visiting. Returning home will be another adventure; a new beginning for me in so many ways.
I have less than a month of work left and my 9 hour work week at my high school is going to be reduced as my most of my students have exams.
Life is good.
But I know a HUGE transition is upon me. That is, when I return home.
Before I grace California with my presence and see my family and friends, I have 3 weeks of travel awaiting me. Three unplanned weeks. Despite pondering what I may do and where I’ll go for the last couple of months, I haven’t settled on anything nor really know where to go. I have the entirety of Europe at my finger tips and no plans.
Well, my only solid plan is to visit my dear friend in Belfast, Ireland for a week and then…
I’ve been toying with the idea of relying solely on public transport so I can be flexible in my travel style. I can stay if I like it, and go when I want. One of my favorite things about travel (and life) is you just never know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to meet. Boarding a bus or train seems more convenient and flexible than dealing with long lines and security at the airport with the additional worry of, is your carry-on small enough. I’ve drawn up a tentative plan- Ireland (visit friend)- Scotland (solo)- London (family and friend) and have pondered Berlin, Helsinki or Prague but I’m slightly overwhelmed. It also appears my “master” plan of buses and planes is likely not the easiest, cheapest or most logical with my various destinations.
For the first time in my life I prefer to travel with someone, to share the experience, to have company,and to get into “good kind of trouble” together. I’ve had my fair share of solo travel and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Solo travel has made me who I am today, allowed me incredibly rich opportunities to learn about myself and my world, meet folks I likely wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t alone and push past my comfort zones.
But I’ve surprised myself with reaching a point in my life and in my travels where I want to share experiences with someone. I had hoped my three weeks would be me visiting friends in Europe but looks like our schedules are not aligning and I’m left to create new plans.
Ok. Fine. Sounds good. I can do just that.
But here lies the absurd. I have time and some money but I lack the spirit; the energy. I feel slightly guilty. My life is pretty good when my worries (for the moment) are where I’m going to travel to, even if I don’t have a clue… yet. This may seem strange when most people can only dream of having time off of work or having some extra cash in the bank to jet-off. It’s quite the dilemma to have, except I’ve just about reached burn out. There are plenty of places I’d love to visit but I’m well aware of wanting to relax, refocus and re-energize before I can fully appreciate new sights, new cultures, new foods, and meeting new people.
I’ve got three weeks and I’ll be figuring out a plan somehow, soon. I also have this feeling that I need to aprovechar because I don’t know when I’ll be back in Europe. Then again, life has reminded me this year that we just never know what’s waiting for us around the corner. A year ago in May, I never imagined I would board a plane three months later to live in Basque Country.