On the Road Again

Hello world!  It’s been a while.  I’ve missed you!  I returned home from my last tumultuous journey in June, and since then I’ve been working, saving money, and eating a huge amount of ice cream with my roommates, who are all wonderful.  The goal of all this tomfoolery was, of course, to return to Europe, specifically Greece, and do more volunteering.  As winter approached however, I realized that this time things would have to be different.

Last time I went to Greece I just went.  I didn’t know where I would be working, I had a room for three nights with two women I had never met, and I figured the rest would fall into place when I got there.  It did, of course, and I ended up working for three months in three separate camps, running Distribution and co-leading Night Shift in the biggest of them.  It was a huge, beautiful, difficult experience, and when my visa ran out and I had to leave, I was devastated.

I spent a month recovering in Thailand, visiting my friend Elise, climbing cliffs, skinny dipping in hidden lagoons, lying in a hammock, reading books, and isolating myself from the outside world.  It was a study in living in the moment, and I think it was the best possible thing I could have done for myself.  I emerged refreshed, spent another month visiting friends across the US, seeing Big Sur, New Orleans, dancing in Charlotte, and museums in Houston.

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Elise and I overlooking Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand

I made it home to the loving embrace of my roommates, and fell back into our routine of couch snuggles, yelling about literature and politics, and drinking massive amounts of tea.  Business as usual!  It was a hard transition from jobless wandering vagrant back to productive member of society, but after a couple of months I settled in and remembered what it was like to have an income.  Life is crazy when you can pay for stuff y’all.

Of course, in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn’t last.  There’s a little hook somewhere deep down in my chest and it pulls me toward Greece.  I saved as much as I possibly could.  I planned to leave in early January, travel through Europe, spend a few more months in Greece, and then move on to somewhere new.  Japan?  Tanzania?  India?

November upset my plans as I witnessed my country elect the living embodiment of revulsion as President.  I fell headlong back into politics and started planning the revolution on the spot.  I delayed my trip until after the inauguration so I could attend the Women’s March on Washington, which broke records, shut cities down across the world, and was an exhausting, but fun weekend.

And then it was time to go!  Bag packed, room cleaned, friends hugged… and I flew to London, which is where you find me now.  I’ve been here for a few weeks, and it’s been nonstop visiting, touristing, and remembering that “pants” means a different thing here, and I have to look the other way when I cross the street.

England is a familiar country to me.  I grew up visiting family and friends here with some regularity, and I consume English media at about the same rate I consume American.  I can parse the slang, understand the accents, converse on basic politics and pop culture, and understand the Tube.  I did go up to Edinburgh to visit my friend Thea, and that was a lovely change to the charming Scottish accent I associate with family.  I also found a great street musician, loitered around the castle, and ate a lot of good food.

I’m back in London now, still visiting friends.  Turns out I know a lot of people in England!  We had a little BDFM reunion the other day in Brixton, and it was absolutely wonderful to see familiar faces and hear what everyone has done with their lives in the past year.  Next on the docket is maybe Manchester, then maybe France, then probably Spain… but you know me, anything could happen!  I seize opportunities where I see them.

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