Looking Back On Europe & South America

This most recent adventure throughout Europe and South America was filled with everything one could expect from a lengthy trip.  I experienced places that I had long seen in books and popular culture, and also discovered so many more that I never even knew existed.  Simply seeing is unsatisfactory though, so my goal too was learning all that I could from the diverse cultures and histories throughout.  Maximizing museum visits and conversations with all those I met along the way made that possible.  There were numerous instances where my AP Euro history education failed to prepare me for Europe, and I knew almost nothing of South America before I got there.  That left the door open for a lot of learning, and my brain was pretty full by the end.

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Beyond the educational byproduct of this trip, there was also a great sense of accomplishment that spawned of as well.  I set out, and avoided sacrificing sightseeing all while managing to survive on – and uphold – a shoestring budget.  Also, because the whole thing was planned on the fly, I felt strong satisfaction with my ability to roll with the uncertainties and come out with an overwhelmingly positive experience.

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This excursion brought my country count up to 57, and greatly shrunk the still vast world.  I may never have a chance to travel on this scale again, but wont ever ever let myself stop completely.  It is however with great sadness that I announce the retirement of my Sperry shoes.  They were relieved in Frankfurt, seven shy of the 50 country goal I had set for them.  The convenience of sans-sock use was outweighed by their falling apart every time I needed to catch a train, and the bitter cold that the holes were letting in.  I assume that you can understand my reasons.

962868_820746550285_729762694_nThe other thing that I had to let go of was my Grizzly Adams-esq beard and locks.  My return marked a transition into the professional world, and I was ready to at long last to look the part.  I paused briefly to marvel at my mustache, something I might revisit when I’m older…

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