Today I was thinking I might need some kind of rehabilitation program to re-enter the real world when I get back to San Diego. Something along the lines of deep-breathing exercises in the fetal position followed by hourly chants of “today I’m not going to meet people from around the world, visit historic museums/sights and top the day off by drinking exotic beers that are probably superior to their American counterparts while mingling with more international individuals. No, I will put my head down and produce things of economic value to feed the American economy.” Feel free to recommend some more calming affirmations to ease the transition.
If that doesn’t work, may need to rig my possessions to register pattern-changing shocks. For example, visiting websites with European train schedules or weather forecasts for places outside California would be met with a strong jolt from my computer. Touching a jar of Nutella would result in volts generally reserved for tranquilizing large animals.
Since being a tourist is all I know, don’t be surprised if I visit Sea World on a daily basis and act like a total zonie in Pacific Beach those first few weeks home. I’m looking rather tan and healthy at the moment, but my complexion will probably be back to pasty goodness in a month, so I’m halfway there. Now I just need to un-learn surfing and clog up the beach by hauling around one of those blue, eight-foot foam boards.
Seriously, this has been a great trip filled with experiences I know I’ll look back on with rose-colored nostalgia. Lots of interesting people and places, many of which you have heard about or will hear about on this blog.
Some days have been tinged by doses of less-than-upbeat introspection, but I think that’s necessary and healthy. After all, there are quite a few changes in my life that I’m trying to wrap my mind around at the moment. If countless travel memoirs are to be believed, only lost souls and people figuring out “what it all means” are allowed in Europe. Have to do my part to fit the bill once in a while. Here’s to the next 40 days.
Places I’ve visited so far: London – Paris – Bruges – Amsterdam – Cologne – Seignosee – Madrid – Lisbon – Barcelona