May 30, 2005
It felt weird, that first moment walking back into my apartment after the metro ride home from the airport. Everything just as I left it, my one plant still alive and green, holding strong. I got to sleep around 1 am. I had unpacked previously; it felt good to do so. I woke up around 3-4 am, and didn't know where I was for a minute. I didn't recognize my apartment in the dark. Later, I awoke around 9 am. I watched the last two episodes of The OC, showered, shaved, bought groceries, got the car washed, and dropped off film to get developed.
Driving around, it was sunny; however fairly cool around 75 degrees. The sky was blue with puffy white clouds scattered about. The trees were a fuller green than when I left. The area seemed quiet, I'm sure most people are traveling, at the beach or barbecuing since it's Memorial Day.
My bed, linens, comforter, pillows all felt so luxurious last night. I've purseposely tried to make it as comfy as I can afford. I can't help but think how affluent I am, and my town of Arlington, and the whole country of the US for that matter. I know we have a poor population too, however it's certainly different from what I become used to, accustomed to in Costa Rica. I can't help but feel lucky, blessed for the life I've built for myself at age 28. I drive the car I want, live on the apartment I want, the country I want, work at a great, growing company, have wonderful friends, loving family. My trip was perfect. The lonely moments were necessary, if just to allow me to more appreciate the social times, and connections I'd make with people. And the language barrier, it's an instant way to humble yourself, or for others to be humbled.
I really grew my spiritual practice. I put to use the concepts I was reading, studying, and experienced the results, the benefits. Suffering is temporary, so too is joy. I wouldn't change a moment of those 18 days. Moments of fear, joy, exhilaration, anxiety, compassion, trust, happiness, desire, understanding, sadness, and possibility.
I most often ate and drank:Imperial – cerveza – beer Brit – cafe – coffee Huevos Rancheros – – breakfast Arroz con pollo – – rice with chicken Arroz con Camarrones- – rice with shrimp Trits – helado – ice cream sandwich Cristal – – bottled water
I wore flip-flops today. Normally I'd never do that, however, I've become used to it, and it's quite enjoyable to forget about socks and sneakers and let your feet breathe. I'm looking forward to wearing them much more, thanks to, and as a result of, this trip. I doubt I'll ever wear the bandana, as I did traveling, though it worked like a charm. I'm looking forward to buying a US or DC United soccer jersey.
It felt good to drive again. I immediately saw beamers, Mercedes, and plenty of nice cars. In Costa Rica I think I saw one or two BMW's, VW's, and that's about it for European cars. Apparently, with a 100% tax levied on imports, it's not so affordable. Mostly Toyota's, Hyundai's and quite a few Land Rovers in the 4×4 areas.
I'll miss the freshness of fruit, the blended fruit smoothies available at all restaurants. The abundance and tastiness of Huevos Rancheros and good coffee. I do think I'll get a French Press so I can drink coffee at home. It is good on occasion.
I have the best tan of my life. I'm sure it'll fade quickly. I'll enjoy it while I can. My back is peeling a bit and I still have to get rid of the athlete's foot I picked up. I've bandaged the cuts on my feet.
I plan to still take a week off from TV. I was thinking maybe once a week. I got the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to tape shows, and then watch them one day. If I make that a habit, it'd cut out so much of the TV time I just use as filler in my life. At the least, I can just turn music on instead.
I had such a great trip. I truly believe I was meant to travel in this fashion, long term, around the world. I feel so natural doing it. So excited, so appreciative. Knock on wood, I'm sure it can get harder, or scarier, however I'm confident the good would outweigh the bad. I trust myself. Increasingly I can take comfort in my Buddhist beliefs, I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. I am building my practice of present moment awareness, and learning to recognize suffering, its roots, and how to release myself from it.