K+K Travel Adventures
Well, after our tearful goodbyes Kirsten and I struggled to make our way through the Charles De Gaulle airport four our connecting flight to London. We made it though. Only an hour and half late arriving to London, we ran to our flight that would take us back to Los Angeles. Tired. Exhausted. Emotional. Reminiscent. I think these are all words that can describe our states of mind when boarding Flight 269 to Los Angeles. Sitting in my seat and watching Kirsten sleep I thought about everything this trip had done for me and then I thought about everything this trip had done for others--of all the memories we were able to create, share, and laugh about later on. On our way to Paris everyone had the oppurtunity to say something about all the things they remembered. For everyone, it was someone different. It was that one moment of the trip where everything was right, the mood, the atmosphere, the people. It was the one moment where they knew it would be something worth remembering long after everything is over--the kind of memory you share with kids, grandkids, friends, etc. Listening to what those memories were for every person was the thing I remembered most from trips, because it was through these memories that I realized this trip meant something to everyone. Whether it was the crazy driver that tried to beat the bus in Amsterdam, Robert slapping the strippers ass in Prague, Mel breaking down in Kaffe Berger, the lasagna in Florence, or Rayna and Mona's humour that kept the group going. The foam party in Lucerne, too much alcohol in Venice, the banana tricks at the sex show in Amsterdam or Zahf singing karaoke at the Red Garter in Florence. The 50 cents jieggershots, the bedbugs, no airconditioning, taxi drivers in Berlin, the rafting guides throwing up over the side during a rapid, Sylvia and Simon, Zahf posing like a gladiator in the Colloseum in his underwear. Ten fingers in Rome. The canal cruise in Amsterdam. Pub crawls in Berlin. Bike rides through Munich--of which led to swimming in a cold river. Everything. This trip left many memories among many people. We were all able to take away something and learn about ourselves. I think that I most, of all, learned to appreciate my age and how much learning I have left to accomplish. At how flexible I can be and at how eager I am to meet people, learn new ideas, and understand more of how the world works. Walking through Berlin, Dachau, the Vatican, and staring at those who rest in Santa Croce church makes me understand why my education is so important and why I must continue to learn about the world. It also reinforces my need to be a teacher, so that someday, when my future students are standing at the Spanish steps can look back and think about what they actually are, about everything. This trip was more than a 30 day pub crawl. It was more than a chance to have hookups. It was the greatest chance of a lifetime to learn and appreciate every moment life has to offer. I cannot thank my grandparents enough for yet again providing me with the oppurtunity to learn, grow. I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to share this oppurtunity with my cousin. Because now, even when were 86 years old we can still laugh at the moment when I went crashing into store windows in Venice or when Kirsten dragged me around Amsterdam in search of smokeshops. We can both laugh at the time when Robert shared with us his wetdream list and of the nights we created at the Stag in Banchory, Scotland. I only hope that someday I may be able to provide the same oppurtunities for my kids and those that may be unfortunate to experience these things on their own. I hope that in the future I will be able to travel to places other than Europe, whether it be China, India, or Australia and share the magic of traveling and the enlightment that results. When we landed at Los Angeles I was stunned that it was all over. But in my heart I know that it never really ends. These adventures will always be with me. And there will always be an oppurtunity to create more. After sharing all our stories, gifts, laughs, and tears we turned on the news to hear more about the terrorist plot on airplanes flying from London Heathrow to the United States. Yes, Kirsten and I are lucky that we narrowly escaped long lines and chaos at major airports, but we also escaped what could have been a plot to take down our own plane--Flight 269 to LAX. Knowing this makes me all the more appreciative that I was able to have such an experience and to share it with Kirsten leaves an indeliable smile on my face. I am in LA now getting ready to go see my friend Sarah in Coronado and all I can think about is my brother, my dad, my mother, everyone. I wish that my brother could learn to appreciate all that is present in his life and how much potential he has. I wish I could tell him that life is not about the party. It is about being who you are and sharing that potential with the world. Likewise, when I think about my father, I wish that I could just call him and put everything behind us and just listen to him laugh about all my stories and adventures. I wish I could fully forgive both my parents for the years of torture that break my heart and continue to break my heart. I wish they understood how hard it is knowing that your parents hate eachother. There is already so much hate and misunderstanding in the world. Why create more? Why let the past eat your life away? Why not use that energy to create something great or to improve something else? These thoughts even apply to those fighting in Israel, Lebanon, Iraq. Why must we continue to battle out our hate, misunderstandings, and bitterness about the past when their are children, mothers, families etc. that need improving. When there are schools that need to be built. Foundations that need to be finished. Lives that need to be lived. This trip was more than just a party, it is a turning point in my life when I can look back and think. There is no excuse to ever stop moving or thinking or changing about the world.....I guess once you travel on a 30 day pub crawl with your cousin and 50 strangers that end up becoming your best friend and of course with an average of 3 hours of sleep a night, it seems hard not keep going. To everyone who made this possible. Thanks.