He would have understood that this great-grandson, here to continue his work and keep the family tradition alive, hadn’t forgotten everything while attending engineering school after all, and that in his veins flowed the love for the land that is needed to make great wine! As I meet more and more people in this new identity as a DPT student, I find myself still wanting to tell them about a whole different life I had before all this. Most of the people who I meet now don’t know much about the girl who spent a month volunteering in Costa Rica, a month traveling alone around Mexico, and months fighting a parasite in Ecuador (among other exotic and dangerous adventures, although Juan the Amoeba certainly left his mark). Most don’t know what led to this person, to this blog, and what led to giving all of that up. (And who’s to say anyone cares?!) That said, the time has come to put TwT aside for a little bit. I’m still Travels with Tavel. I always will be! But I’ve decided to keep more of the journey to myself, now.
This has, without a doubt, been the most challenging, most humbling, most intense, most difficult, most consuming, most frustrating, most exhausting, and most disorienting experience of my life – and that is coming from someone who has traveled alone to many parts of the world before iPhones even existed. I want, with all my verbal might, to capture this feeling, this moment, this sense of accomplishment in words, but I am not sure the words will do all the feelings justice.
For dessert, we will visit the flagship boutique of Valhrona Chocolate, where almost everything Valrhona sells in the store is offered for tasting – free. The prices of chocolate items are extremely reasonable, and I have to admit, I not only ate myself into a chocolate coma, I filled my suitcase with chocolate treats for the folks back home. Red wine and chocolate. What a day!
In many ways, my 30s began with many not yets. I once was a naive 21-year-old who truly believed that I just had to make it through my 20s to get to all the answers. I have since learned that the questions just change the whole time. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of life being a lot of finish lines, but what happens when you realize that you’ve signed up for one of those ultra-marathons, which consists of six back-to-back marathons over the course of a week in the hottest desert in the world? (Ok, I just watched a documentary called Desert Runners,” and, strangely, those 250K race experiences in 119 degree weather reminded me very much of my career-changing experience.) I feel like I’m in my own academic ultra-marathon, putting all my faith in a finish line that I know is there and yet I can never quite see. But being halfway means that I can get there. It reminds me I’m truly on my way.
Thanks for your list. It’s really helpful. It inspired me to go to India and Israel last year. Both trips, I got my visa on arrival. For India, I landed in Bangalore my second trip and they also give a visa on arrival there. Return to Avignon to rest up for our gala farewell dinner to end a glorious week in Southern France!
I’ve been through Amtrak before, if possible, it’s better to fly by train since it’s faster and tends to cost less. I’ll really only ride train if it’s inexpensive. Geocaching. A sport for the 21st century. What is it? How is it played? Who can play? All those questions are answered here.