Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Europe...Take me...I´m yours...

So it has been a while since I have sat down and expressed my thoughts and experience via blog and realizing without a computer it is tough to write nearly as much as I would like too. I want to give a quick update on where I have been so far, some highlights, and where I plan on heading to next. Right now I am in the comfort of a hotel, the Arcotel Boltzmann in Vienna, Austria..only a few blocks from where the world´s most famous psychoanalyist lived, Sigmund Freud. Hotel you might think, where did you pull that off, what happened to the budget traveling? Well being the child in a family of committed globe-trekkers I was able to arrange my trip and my parent´s trip together to rendesvous here in Vienna, while my pops has a conference at the local Universit├Ąt. So I not only get the comfort of a hotel room with such precious amenities like fresh clean towels, peace and quiet as if I had my own living space once again (although things really never remained too quiet back at home anyways), and of course a maid to tidy up my room around the hurricane of shit that gulf storms out of my backpack when I open the zipper...But I also get the comfort and peaceful-easy feeling of home with my Mom and Dad, and not too mention royal treatment from not only the parents but also the conference. The conference committee last night arranged for everyone to go to the Ballet at the spectacular State Opera House, a private viewing and guided tour of the Van Gogh exhibit in town after the Museum is closed, and tomorrow night a Jazz concert in the city centre. Yes it is good to be in with the family and around the family. Being around my Mom and Dad makes me miss home and other family and friends but also strengthens the continuation of my journey with their nonstop love and support and the encouragement from everyone I have met along the way. Some people when I tell them I am backpacking around alone, hopping from place to place at my own discretion, with a very vague itinerary say that it´s pretty ballsy but I feel that it must be done. The capabilities are there, nothing is holding me back at home, and not living life to the fullest and seeing everything this world has to offer that is just waiting for me to explore would simply leave me with a feeling of regret. Could have, would have, should have...How am I to make a sound judgement of my place in this world, when I have barely seen it?
My voyage around Europe as a vagabond has lasted now for 42 days. Everyday I meet people that I will never forget and that I will always keep in touch with. Everyday I get to experience a different side of life, aside from Southern California, and explore this region for everything it has to offer, whether it be the feeling of walking down the street where once strolled a historical figure that has made a lasting impression on the world or whether it be visiting a city where modernity clashes with tradition and history. In those 42 days, in chronological order, I have been to Rome, Sorrento (Pompeii 2x), Positano, Capri, Naples, Rome again, Florence, Milan, Zurich (and the surrounding lakeside towns), Bourgogne French Countryside, Dijon, Zurich, Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle, Prague, and am now here in Vienna. So officially I have been to Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. Every place has been so unique and every step along the way has opened my heart and mind to something I would have never imagined. These countries still have much territory to be explored and I have barely scratched the surface. My journey will take me back to places like France and Germany within the next few months, as I will travel through cities like Berlin and Paris and everywhere and anywhere in between. For the other countries I have checked off my list, like Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland: I have gotten a little taste, have suckled the sweet nectar, have woefully pretended to understand and speak your native tongue...but as my time and money here on this great Continent of Europe are limited, I must experience the bounty of what many of your other wonderful and fascinating countries have to offer.
Continuing on...Within the next say 3 months I plan on visiting Croatia and its beautiful coastline and national parks, Greece and the tremendous amount of history and islands you beckon, Turkey and your Kebabs and the only city in the world that sits on two continents, Romania and your crazy Vampire tales, Poland and your damn proud people, Denmark and your happy people and cheese danishes, Sweden and your by the time I get to you freezing temperatures and penis enlargers (Swedish tanning teams), Latvia and your ruins in the city of Riga, Estonia and your olde city of Tallin, The Netherlands and your crazy windmills, canal engineers, and oh yeah AMSTERDAM, Belgium and your succulent beers, France and your, well I think by now you get the point...Truth is, everyone of these countries is so unique and has developed on such a tradition that has infinitely become their own. Whether I get to see and experience as much of these countries as I would like to, I hope to come out of this journey knowing that little taste, that impressionable smell, that linguistic understanding despite occaisionally becoming lost in translation, that picturesque scenery, and that warm and welcoming touch that each of you are just waiting for me to experience. For now, until next time...ciao