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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 51.0197, -115.547
Woke up, ate breakfast, and was off to the airport ... sigh .... it's all over today! Nooooooooooo!!!! I remembered the pathetic meal on the flight to London, so I grabbed a sausage roll at the tube station ... sigh ... rode the Gatwick Express train to the airport. I wrote in my journal a little bit, but it was difficult, as all of my inspiration seemed to have evaporated ... sigh ....
Went through the very busy security check at Gatwick. All liquids (including water bottles) had to be thrown out. The line seemingly stretched on forever. It seemed so wrong ... waiting so long ... and for what? To go home and leave behind this glorious continent??? Why? Secretly, I hoped that there would be a security breach, and that they would shut down the airport. Anything to delay my return would have been welcome, if even only for a few hours. Sigh .....
I ended up having a row to myself on the plane. I didn't really need the space - I spent the entire flight curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth, sucking on my thumb, and crying "I don't wanna go home yet! Wah! Wah! Wah!".
I tried writing in my journal again, but once more, there was no inspiration .... sigh ... it was like the life was sucked out of me ... a life whose emptiness could only be filled by one thing - glorious, heavenly gelato!
It was a weird flight ... I was actually quite indifferent the whole time. I was resigned to my horrible fate, like a man being sent to the executioner. Weird moment of the flight - I was waiting for the toilet, and the guy inside walked out with two cans of pop and two small containers of yogurt. Perhaps he didn't want to pay the high prices on board and smuggled on his own? My question is this - where did he hide everything??? Obviously, in some place that required him to go to the toilet to "retrieve" the items ... he must have been an amateur proctologist!
Other than that, it was a very uneventful flight. I really didn't feel any depression until the plane touched down. Literally, on the first bounce, my chest grew tight, I felt a little pain, and I actually let out a small grunt. No kidding! After landing, I heard the flight attendants talking about when they would be flying back (the day after). I wanted to ask them if I could stow away and go back with them ...
So this is it ... it's finally over. 98 days of everything a person can feel or experience - happiness, sadness, euphoria, disgust, bitterness, hate, anger, disappointment ... I list many negative things, but in reality, these were fairly isolated incidents. The good far outweighed the bad in the last 98 incredible days.
It seems like yesterday was July 20th, and I also was at Gatwick airport. But instead of going home to Canada, I was flying to Madrid for a date with destiny in Toledo. I've thought about that day over and over throughout this trip. Every time I thought about it, I had a huge smile on my face. I still can't believe the lengths I went to for Isabel (and neither can any normal, sane human being!). But at least I can finally put the whole saga of Isabel behind me.
The whole thing felt like an out-of-body experience, with somebody else in control of my actions. It was so completely out of character for me, almost like I was a completely different person. But you know what? I think that person was pretty cool, and in many ways, I like that person better than I like myself. Unafraid to take risks and to say what he feels - couldn't we all benefit by being a little more like that?
For those that have watched "The Shawshank Redemption", do you remember what Red (Morgan Freeman's character) said when he jumped parole? "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'". No truer words have ever been uttered. Why wait to live? That's what the present is for - to live in the moment. If you don't, all you're doing is dying a slow death.
I've learned an incredible amount about myself during this trip - but the most important thing I learned is that, given the right situation and motivation, I would do whatever it takes to achieve my goals. I'm not talking about career or financial goals, but personal ones.
I've always known that my career was pretty far down my priority list. Don't get me wrong - when I work, I work my ass off. But given the choice between personal happiness and getting ahead in my career, it's a no-brainer for me. Accolades, prestige, titles ... in the end, no one remembers these things. I would rather be remembered as a man that lived out his dreams (such as eating lots of gelato), and did whatever was necessary to make them come true (sometimes, this involved eating lots of gelato).
Though I've tried with these blogs, it is impossible to fully describe everything that I have experienced, felt, and lived on this trip. For me, this trip was a once in a lifetime experience. Now that I've returned to Canada, I have no idea where life will take me. I've never had that feeling before, because I've always carefully planned my path in life. I think I like the idea of venturing into a world of unknowns. But one thing is for sure - I don't know how, when, or where ... but some day, I will do this again and spend another 99 days (98 if I'm unlucky again!) traveling somewhere. You can count on it.
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