March 23, 2004

Vancouver, Canada

This is the last entry in this log.

I arrived back in Vancouver three weeks ago now. Seven flights inside 24 hours brought me from Salvador back to Mexico City where this trip started. I had a last day to hang around there before returning to Vancouver.

I've come back for several reasons, biggest of them is a job offer. I'm excited about the job, less so with a lot of other things that come with being back. The cultural differences seem more remarkable returning then they were going the other direction. I guess readjusting to chilly climes and culture is something that just takes time. It's nice to see friends and family again and to just walk again among familiar sights, smells and sounds, but aborting my trip just as I was gaining a linguistic and cultural fluency was difficult.

Travel changes the way you see the world and I'm both startled and amused by the shifts in my own outlook. This trip was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I was tired and disaffected before leaving - and the perspective I gained while away is priceless. Before this trip I'd never seen poverty at close range. Penury is a conveniently hypothetical concept in first world countries, and the divestiture of that privileged ignorance has left me with an apperception I hope I never lose. But even more important was experiencing the passion and joy for life that permeates everything people there do in spite of - or maybe because of their conditions. This has made me seriously reconsider my own values.

Thanks to everyone who sent me feedback about my trip and this site. Though it was originally intended for friends and family, very quickly people I'd never met were following my travels on these pages. Your feedback helped shape the way they turned out and gave me many new ideas. The next time I up and change continents (and there will be a next time) I'll do things differently. The log and photos will stay up for quite a while yet. Enjoy.

My biggest thanks go out to all the people I crossed paths with during my journey. To everybody I met along the way - whether you opened up your country and culture to a wanderer, or like me you were just passing through - you made my trip fantastic. I can't thank you enough.


There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
-- Nelson Mandela, 'A Long Walk to Freedom'

Posted by dhuska at March 23, 2004 12:39 AM

Thought you might like this. Machu Picchu Itīs taken from the satellite I work with, Quickbird.

Posted by: Sarah at April 3, 2004 01:34 PM

Try that again ...

Posted by: Sarah at April 3, 2004 01:35 PM