Europe Here I come!

Well its 9:30 pm EST, and I’m 1/4 of the way across the Atlantic ocean on another one of my crazy trips. This one’s a little be different than most of my other trips. For starters, its on someone else. My work is paying me to go to Belgium to work for 4 days. That alone would be an amazing deal but somehow, I’m not really sure how, I convinced them to let me go a few days early. Now that alone I figured wouldn’t be a big deal. I figured that since the airfare would be about the same, if not cheaper, that it wouldn’t be a problem, but when I brought up the idea to my boss she said that they would put me up in a hotel and pay for my meals for that extra time too! Really, I couldn’t be happier.

This trip is also kind of different in other ways too. For starters, its going to be relaxing, a word that’s rarely applicable to my leisure time. It almost feels wrong to be going so far away with out some huge goal, something to conquer. I don’t really have a destination (for my free time), I don’t have any huge mountains that I have to climb, there aren’t any epic races that I’m going to run (that I know of at least), and I really don’t have any idea of what I’m going to do. Its different, but kind of neat.

The second way its different is kind of related, and has to do with where my head is. Since there’s no real goals or destinations, I’m not really thinking about Belgium. My head really isn’t in this trip. I’m still kind of thinking of things back home, my friends, my family, where they are, what their doing. And what makes this even stranger is that I have no real way of getting a hold of any of them. Before on all my trips, I’d always be able to call back home and touch base with people. Usually this would mean calling up Paige since she was always around when I had time to talk and it was free to talk to her, but through that convenience came a very strong and honest friendship. I guess what I’m just now realizing is again how good I have it. Over my bike trip I put my self out on the streets and lived by some of the most extreme means of anyone I know. I slept in barns with leaky roofs on grimy wooden pallets, and houses just being built for someone else. I slept in grave yards and behind churches in towns across the coast. All of this was a severe deprivation of amenities that so many of us (myself included) take for granted, and through this deprivation, I acquired a sense of thanks and appreciation for everything around me. Now this might sound corny as hell, but its the honest truth, and I don’t think anyone can truly relate until they themselves go through such circumstances (hopefully willenly as being forced to go through such an ordeal would be quite a different experience).

But to the point already. I guess by realizing that I have no real contact with those I’ve left behind, I’m starting to gain again an appreciation of those in my life. People that I see every day and take for granted more than anyone else like Ditch and Big Mike, or that I only see rarely but inspire and encourage me to do so much like Noah and Davide (two individuals that I honestly believe have the same outlook as I do and that can do anything that they put their minds to). And Amanda and Paige, two of the people that I feel the most honest around. Jim and Dinga, The people that have helped me on so many occasions with out even knowing it. And of course my sister, who though all the years has caused me so much aggravation that I’d never ask to change because just the thought of any one of the incriminating stories that are rushing through my head right now could make me laugh for days on end. I don’t think I could ever ask for a better friend than her.

And so what I intended to start out as a boring introduction to a trip that will probably be anything but has turned into sap fest 2006, but has put me in the right mood for this trip, so I’ll keep it anyways. The thought of not posting this is milling in my head, but then what’s the point of writing it all down? To anyone that I didn’t specifically list, don’t read anything into it. If I were to sit here and write even 1/2 a sentence about everyone of you my battery would die before I even got a quarter of the way though you all. Peterson, Geoff, Dave (Washed up and Creepy Crawley), Enrique, checkers, Sean (yes Belcher, your almost exactly 1/2 way around the world from me right now and still putting a smile on my face thinking about the games of badhall and nights of exploring roof tops still to be had), Joe, Danny, Thahn, Steve, Scott, Flenke, Dan (it feels so weird that it feels ok to call you that and not Coach), Abe, and of course Brandon (who’s finally graduated from the nickname that plagued him for so long), Mark (one who’s creativity and ability to think in alternate ways never ceases to inspire me), and everyone else (I have to cut this off here or the serious ending of this sappy post will never come). All of you (anyone that is reading this or has come into my life in even the slightest of ways), thank you for being who you are, and helping me have the outlook on life that I do.

And on that note, I am not totally siked stretch my legs in London, take another short flight to Belgium, and take my first deep breath of what Europe has to offer. I’m going to climb to the top of buildings older than my comprehension, that were built by some truly motivated and ingenious people, taste some of the most renowned chocolate in the world, and pee in a fountain with a statue of a little boy more famous than anyone I’ll ever meet (Mind blow: I’m going to be seeing some serious history here…).

Now for some airplane (read: unrestfull) sleep, and then the start of my first truly worldly experience. Check back here later, and I’ll try to post a little each night to keep track of what I’ve done. Post comments to guilt me into actually doing it too. Till then. Good night and good luck.

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