epically unanticipated homecoming at the end of November. My aunt and uncle, who were so kind to let me share some magical time in Tuscany with them during my travels, are in on the scheme and helped me develop a plan of total shock and awe. They’re flying into Dallas from New York, to visit the family and spend the holidays down South, and we arranged for both of our flights to arrive at the same time Tuesday afternoon, mere days before Thanksgiving. When the parents come to pick them up, they’re going to get the shock of their life when they see their world wandering son, bearded and full of bluster, standing at that terminal waiting for his prodigal return. It’s something that has been in the works for over a month, and the feigned flight plans and forced silence I’ve had to keep this whole time to the ones I love is almost too much. Thankfully I only have one more day before the trap is sprung and I get to see the faces on my mom and dad when they’re travel weary son returns home. I’ve had a lot
of time to think about this imminent return back to the life I left behind and the people that mean the most. It’s stirred in me mixed feelings and a kind of detached numbness, much like the first days of my travels sitting on that stray street corner in the bustle of Bangkok over twelve months ago. Now, on the eve of my departure, sitting in the warm welcoming den of loving friends, too eager to sleep, a sense of excitement and accomplishment overwhelms me. To make it this far and see the fruits of my labors in a peaceful soul, a grateful heart and a perspective forever altered and opened, it’s redeeming and rewarding in so many ways. I’m so eager to share it with the ones I love back home, my thoughts drift to what those first blissful days will be like. Warm Fall weather and the changing of leaves scattering in the backyard, barbeques and lazy Sunday afternoons capped with the occasional football nap and case of beer ready to tap, Italian dinners, spirited conversations over simmering pots, the cool breeze wafting in from the porch, and above all the smiles of family and friends to warm my heart and remind me why I took this journey to start. It’s all waiting for me, and it’s just a day away. I still can’t believe I’m coming home after all this time on the road. So surreal to have these thoughts now with less than 24 hours to go. It’s been an incredible trip, from beginning to end, and I am so grateful and happy to have experienced it all and made so many incredible friends. Thank you to my parents for supporting me and believing in my dreams. Thank you to my best friend and travel buddy
for joining along and sharing in the memories. Thank you to my two beautiful sisters who continually inspire and impress me. Thank you to all my friends that care back home and have followed along on this journey, and thank you to this great big world that took me in these past twelve months when I roamed randomly, but purposefully, across this great globe. It was an experience I will never forget, and I'll always take the lessons I learned with me through this life no matter where I go. It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning of the next chapter of my life in a great unwritten tome. If this adventure has taught me anything, it’s going to be spectacular, and I’m looking forward with open eyes and an open heart to seeing where it goes… Until the next adventure.
I'm going home. I can’t believe it. After over a year on the road, from the dense jungles and endless beaches of SE Asia, to the dusty roads and colorful cultures of India and through the heart of Western civilization, backpacking through city after city in Europe, I’m finally boarding a plane to take me back to my family and home in the great state of Texas for a surprise to end all surprises. I’ve been leading my parents and siblings along, saying I’m staying until at least Christmas and they won’t see me before then, if at all. My sister’s were bummed that I would miss Thanksgiving, and my mom almost gave up the idea of seeing me before the holidays in light of my extended absence and the kind of forced detachment it’s caused her to evolve. All along though, I’ve been playing a sly game, with my tickets booked months ago to take me back for an