September 25, 1999 And Now for My Final Thought...
When one person travels around Western Europe for 11 weeks he
can't help but come back a changed man. Meeting new people from new cultures and
finding out the world isn't quite so big as he thought...
OK, Jerry Springer impersonations aside, I really did have an
incredible trip, easily the best time of my life. But it has been good to get back
to real life and to some of the things I had missed: friends and family, my car, In-N-Out,
Mexican food, and Roscoe's to name a few.
Since I've been back, people have often asked me what my
favorite country is, but that is just such a hard question because I liked different
countries and areas for different reasons. Some of my favorite places were: the
Greek Isles, the Swiss Alps, Scandinavia, and Spain. My 3 favorite cities were
Berlin, Paris, and Barcelona. I didn't really go any place that I hated or anything,
but some of the places I liked less were Athens, Naples, and Vienna.
As for the future adventures (or lack thereof) of Traveling
Alan... I don't know. I've seen enough churches and museums for now. So if I
do return to Europe, I would stay in one place longer to really get to know it. I'd
love to even live in Barcelona, Paris, or Stockholm for a time, perhaps teaching or
tutoring English or just doing odd jobs. As far as the rest of the world, I have a
few ideas. One trip involves extended time in the Greek islands, then off to Israel,
Egypt, and Turkey. Another trip might be Australia and New Zealand with a detour to
someplace in Asia (Thailand or Bali perhaps). Then of course, there's the great
American road trip: I'd still like to see New Orleans, New York, D.C., and a few other
places. I'd also be interested in returning to Costa Rica (I was only 6 last time)
and perhaps exploring a little of Central and/or South America and/or the
But I'm going to put off any big trips until I graduate in 2-3 years.
It's actually been weird readjusting to life in the States.
I was at Walmart and I had to resist the urge to ask someone if they spoke English
before I started talking to them. And I was eating my double-double at In-N-Out and
I kept turning my head when I heard people speaking English because I had developed that
reflex... oh, there must be Americans here, where are they? That kind of thing.
And it's strange that I don't have to use division to figure out how much something
costs (the worst was Spain where I had to divide by 150).
Anyhow, the web page is now finished. I didn't expect to
complete it so quickly, but my friend Brandon has a scanner now and not only scanned all
my pictures for me, but also did some amazing touch up jobs on some of them that hadn't
turned out so well (thanks mang). I myself touched up the letters a bit: fixed
typos, revised a little, added some more anecdotes (about 10-20% more per email), and
scanned about 40 pictures and 3 of my drawings. So if you get a chance, check it out
and don't forget to sign the Guestbook at the bottom of the
By the way, remember Nadine went home early for a job interview
with a bank? She got the job!
Well, I've enjoyed writing these little e-mails and I hope
you've enjoyed reading them.
So take care of yourselves, and each other.