If it were a year ago I would be on a plane right now, flying over the atlantic ocean for an adventure that would last six months and include 26 countries. As it is this year I am at home, in school, and not going further than Wisconson for the rest of the semester. It's been a very weird week, mostly because I did a play in the same space during the same weekends both years, but this year I wasn't getting ready to go after strike. And while my feet are getting itchy and part of me would like to drop out of school and go somewhere, the other part of me is also really happy where I am now. And I know that I am really lucky to have traveled as much as I have been able to.
For me today seems much more to define the end of a year than new years eve did. While last year seems so recent, it also seems so far away because I think I've changed a lot in the past year. I'm happier now than I was last year, I feel like I appreciate where I have more, and I have a better idea of what I might like to do with my life. Spending that much time alone, I learned how to be happy within my self, instead of always relying being around others to make me happy. I discovered (or maybe rediscovered) my love of maps, and learned the best way to know a city is to walk around it for days. And maybe most importantly I have more faith that things will work out; that it's okay for plans to change, or to not have any plans.
While I went alone, I didn't travel without the help of others. So I feel like I need to thank all the people who I haven't specifically thanked. Thanks to my mom who was always supportive, and whose worrying I feel must have kept me safe. To William, who was always supportive, gave good advice when I was tired and hungry, and kept mom from worrying too much. To Ian who let me kidnap him and didn't complain when I had to visit doctors. To dad for calling me. To Margaret and Peter, Richard, Anna, Rashmi and Subir, Sahar and her parents, Gamze, Hasan and Umran, Ulgen, Ceren, Aylin, Kubi and Ali Kahn, Erol and Reidar for taking me into their houses and making me part of their families. To Canguzel, who provided the connections to my sufi family. To Efdal for showing me around and having rooftop adventures. To my sufi family for making me feel the I belonged. To Richard who helped me when the atms hated me. To the french students in Bulgaria that let me stay in their dorm room. To all the strangers that gave me directions when I was lost. To Anne for eating lots of ice cream and wanting to see everything with me. To Emily for meeting me on a dark corner and drinking in the square with me. To Henry and Megan who happened to be abroad and run into me. To everyone that operates an ice cream store, an internet cafe, a bookstore with a bathroom, or a public transportation company. To everyone in eastern europe, turkey and egypt (with the exceptions of a few sketchy guys in egypt) that I met.
"Not all those who wander are lost" Some of us like the road, and any new destination is exciting.