I Met Many People in Europe, I Even Found Myself

Trip Start Jun 08, 2008
Trip End Jul 09, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My trip ended just as suddenly as it had begun; one moment I was sitting in a Budapest café and the next I was at JFK airport back home in America.  As I sat on the bench outside waiting for my ride home, I began to look back on my trip and thought about what I had learned.  People usually come back from these adventures and regale their friends and families of stories how they had searched for and finally found their soul.
But, as I sat there choking on car fumes at JFK airport I felt much the same way as I had always been.  I didn't feel as if I had a new outlook on life, nor did I feel like I had found my "soul".  During the car ride back home to New Jersey I amused my father with funny stories and anecdotes I had gathered along my journey, while simultaneously worrying that this entire trip was a futile attempt to find myself.
The trip home was marred by hours of traffic and when that situation is combined with a broken air conditioner and the summer sun blazing on the car, my father was not in the best of moods.  As we sat on the GWB and in between his cursing and grumbling he asked me how I could also not be angry; I chuckled and replied "It's only a little traffic and sun, what's the big deal?  Enjoy the view of the city".
In the midst of the sweat, car fumes, and honking horns I realized that I had in fact changed and my outlook on life was remarkably different than it was one week ago.  Simple things like traffic jams which would have annoyed me to no end, now seemed like insignificant blips in the journey that is life.
When I arrived home my family kept pestering me with questions about the trip, and I told them all about the difficulties I had along the trip.  My mother then asked me the following question, "How was the trip and would you ever do it again?"
I sat there and tried to wrap my brain around the question; sure I had some hard times that nearly made me break down, however did the good times make up for them?  I replied with this..."It was quite possibly the hardest, most annoying, dangerous time of my life, but...I would do it again in a heartbeat".  I also warned them that I had caught the dreaded "travel bug" and that I was already planning my next trip.
To this day, I like to tell people that I met some incredible individuals on my journey through Europe, but the most amazing person I found was myself. 
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