After finally coming home to a bed and the real North American life that lay dormant during my weeks traipsing through Europe, I discovered a sense of restlessness and impatience that lurked at the edge of my now, having a real mattress, very deep sleep. Before this, I had travelled across North America, but I had never been further than the shores of the Atlantic. Now I have seen Rome, Paris, and London, the great cities of our Western World. I have been infected with the travel bug. Along with this knowledge and cultural experience, I want to see more.
I miss the steady breathing of a tent mate beside me. I miss lying down after walking for miles during the day, grateful for that flimsy thermarest. I miss questioning everything and frustrating the teachers that would walk beside me in this experience. I miss pondering the meaning of what it is to travel and truly experience what is around me, as well as the meaning of pilgrimage and am I really on one, rather than using that simply as an excuse to participate in glorified tourism.
These cultures, these experiences, have shaped me. I come home with a new worldview, and a new mind. Assisi taught me to renounce entitlement. Rome taught me that power falls. Paris taught me that beauty is found in the least expected places, and so is pain. And the battlefields of the world wars taught me that remembering the past is one of the most important things I can do for my generation. Wisdom is experienced and knowledge is making itself heard through the heart and eyes of a perpetual student.
I pray that I will be wise.