Checking In

So, here I am….in Dallas that is.  I have been working at the Libertine for a month and a half now.  Has it really been that long?!  I have to admit I was afraid of things being the same as last summer, where all I did was work and never had time to build new friendships.   However, like always, my expectations were disproved.  Is that the theme of my life?  To always remind myself never to have expectations?

Not only are some of my oldest and dearest friends back in Dallas but I have also finally found a real genuine community.  And where else would I meet these amazing people other than the Libertine.  I wrote last year about how The Libertine was my one saving grace while living in Dallas.  How I felt a sense of home every time I walked through the door.  This is one thing that has not changed.  In truth, the majority of this group was around last year but because of my focus I was unable to give any time to hang out with new people.

I think one of the most profound things I learned on the Epic Adventure was to be more present.  I never planned anything more than 3 days in advance and this process resulted in life changing skills.  I live more in the moment, am more productive, do not take things too seriously, and most importantly, can appreciate wherever I am.

There is no longer this anxiety or longing to be with certain people or in a certain place.  Granted, of course I miss The Lost Boys, all the wonderful people on Koh Tao, all of the wonderful people in all of the places I went to, and undoubtedly, my Companion but I know I will see them all again and the reunion will be incredible.  All I can say is thank God for Skype.

So, in much anticipation, I will begin a recollection of the stories that I was unable to tell from the journey.  There are so many and they have to be documented.  Also, I’m going to plan to include some sort of ‘travel tips’ section due to the numerous calls and messages I get with questions like,

“How did you do it?  Where did you go?  How much was it?”

All I can reiterate now is that we never planned anything besides Russia.  I mean really, the only fact was that we were going to Russia and we were going to ride on the Trans-Siberian.  Everything else, before and after that, was spontaneous and this is something I want to really encourage people to do.

This is it guys.  This is the only life we’ve got.  Might as well make it an interesting one!

And for REALLY amazing news!  Aung San Suu Kyi’s accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo a few days ago.  She truly is an inspiration.

One other theme that has seemed to follow me throughout my entire life is the kindnesses I have found in the most unexpected places.  Aung San Suu Kyi reminded me of this with her quote,

“Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world.”  Kindness, she said, “can change the lives of people.”

Aung San Suu Kyi

And this is for you Stephanie…

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