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I realize the blog is several months late, but better late than never.

For those unaware, I departed Roads Unknown this past November and returned home to the States to begin college. I will be documenting that..."experience" in a new blog. But for my Roads farewell blog, I'd like to summerize a few thoughts I wrote down, shortly after returning home, after fifteen continuous months on the road.

The first few weeks after returning were pretty...surreal. There's really no other word for it. I kept expecting and hoping that I'd close my eyes, wake up in another country, and find that I was still on the road. But it didn't happen. It still doesn't now.

It's funny the little habits of travel that have stuck with me. A couple days after I first got home, as I was unloading my laundry from the dryer, I had already rolled up half my clothes to be packed into a backpack before I realized what I was doing. Fifteen months and I had forgotten about hangers. The opposite also happened, and it's odd what came back right away, like finding I still remembered how many steps it is from my bedroom to the bathroom and where the light switches are at night in the dark.

Almost immediately after I got home, I instantly felt weighed down by all the things, all the objects I own, with an almost claustrophobic feeling. I had a taste of this when I came home after Guatemala, when I realized I didn't need nearly so many clothes and cleared out half my closet. My second trip I took even less with me, and by the end of it had widdled my travel belongings down to two small backpacks. The day after I got home this time, I eliminated my wardrobe by about half again, and continued the process of decluttering my life to some degree over the next few weeks. After other people, I think it's "things" that tie people down more than anything, and that tied-down feeling is one I've been resisting as best I can.

I am not the same person that left, and I haven't been able to fall back exactly into my old life. Not that I'd want to or expect to, it's simply that adjustments have had to be made. For now, I continue on in a stasis till the new unknown comes my way via college this fall.

I miss the road a great deal, and it's odd how travel became familiarity. I found myself considering how I wouldn't think twice about hopping a plane to some random country, but the thought of entering a Walmart horrified me. "Home" is different things to different people, and for the me, the road felt like home. So while you can't stay home forever, you do often find your way back. And I'm sure I will.

college, goodbye, ties, home

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Posted By: David 4/23/2011