Day 330 - Farewell Sean

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Barbeli's House

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Today marks a milestone - the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. After 330 days on the road, it's time for one last goodbye to my best friend and travel companion before he boards a plane to take him home.  It’s been a long and winding journey together.  We’ve both grown, and changed and experienced so much these past eleven months.  We joke about the difference between when we first landed in the sweltering summer heat of Bangkok, almost one year ago, and the faces that look us in the mirror now, traveling through the heart of central Europe.  They’ve aged, matured, grown stronger and more assured.  The eyes seem wiser and the hearts are more open to the people and places around us.  Looking through old pictures of our first days of travel is like staring at children of ourselves.  Young and na´ve, fresh faced and juvenile, hopeful and ignorant.  Today those faces are chiseled and wizened, hardened but yielding, deep with knowledge and cut from experience.  It’s amazing the change you see in yourself after such a short time on the open road.  We ponder the consequences and differences between us then and now over beers in the park at the purple hour of dusk.  What will this mean?  How will things change?  Who will we be when we take that first step home?  Sean is the brave soul who will have to answer that question first.  He’s finally going back to New Hampshire and everything inside of him is screaming no.  The lure of the road and the life of a traveler has been ingrained too deep in our souls, even the prospect of family and friends back home isn’t strong enough to let it go.  I empathize with his pain and nod in silent agreement over our shared experience.  Nothing can compare to this way of life.  When it’s meant for you, you just know it’s right.  A long winding journey - crossing continents, mountains, oceans and seas - experiencing different cultures, landscapes, memories and cuisine.  It’s opened us up to the world at large and changed us inside to become who we are.  I reassure my friend, it’s not the end, just a start.  A new beginning for adventures in the heart of our homeland.  With a return ticket booked and held tight in his hand, Munich isn’t far off though and it consoles him that he can keep going if he wants to after seeing his slice of home - take a journey through the great states, driving across prairies and dusty highways, rivers and valleys to roam.  His smile lights up and the weight on his shoulders is lifted, just a little bit, but enough to see the future he’s blessed with.  The life of a wandering traveler isn’t dead, just a hiatus and some much needed time with family and friends.  As we get to the station, his life stowed in his pack, we say one last farewell and hold our tears back.  I know it won’t be the last time we explore this great world, so until next time, keep living and let the spontaneous adventures unfurl.
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Bonnie Wilkins on

Everett: We just returned home from Italy last night. It seems a year since we
saw you in Siena. I am looking forward to reading your blogs, and appreciate being on the "list" of friends who receive them. That Transatlantic cruise, after leaving Tuscany, (by the way we MADE it to Civitaveccia thanks to you, dear friend) was amazing, still home is the best place to be. (that's not a hint)

Lauren Lowther on

And you will find that there will always be certain things that only he can relate to and that even simply talking about what you have seen, done, and been through to other people will seem frustrating at times...because the words themselves cannot do the experience justice.

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