You know it’s time to leave Europe when stuck in a city after three glorious weeks in the mountains. When you get sick and all you can do is sit in the hotel room in the city and wish to be transported home. When the hotel is so loud that you can’t keep the window open for fresh air. Instead, you’re stuck in that uncomfortably hot hotel room sweating in your own skin.
That time has most definitely come when the day finally arrives to leave and, when returning the rental car after three weeks of before mentioned mountain travel, you manage to find the one gas station after much circling that is close to the airport car rental return. You find it and it eats your 40 euros. There’s no attendant because it’s self-serve. The ‘help’ phone does not work. And yes, finally, the number the car rental attendant gave you who actually is present does not work because you can’t figure out how to get through to the other end with your North American mobile phone.
Yes, oh yes, it’s time to leave. Time to go back to the land of comfort and excess. The land of do-anything-you want. The land of twenty-four hour everything. Canada. America. North America. I normally don’t last more than three weeks in Europe. After calculating the last year, I realized yesterday that four months of the past twelve have been in Europe. Yup. Time to go home.
Time to go back home and face the reality that there is no other big goal to shoot for. Nothing monumental to look ahead to. Just plain simple life as most people know it. That’s what’s in store for me now that I walk the civilian life of that which comes after sport.
It was a fine three weeks Peter and I enjoyed traversing a few hundred or so kilometers of trails around Mt. Blanc. A well-deserved vacation I’m told. Time to clear my head and begin considering what is next. What’s in store now that the bike is tucked away and the skates have long since rusted up since that last stride just over two years ago.
What I do know is that in a month I roll into the next decade of existence. Into the forties I will venture and what to do. What to do?
The only thing that came to me after those already mentioned hundreds of hiking miles in France, Italy and Switzerland, followed by the most unfortunate and seemingly inevitable few days in the city center waiting to leave (why does this always happen at the end of every great trip?)…the only thing that makes any sense is the urge to walk some more.
The urge to do something of meaning and significance exclusive to me. That is, to walk some more in nature. To be inspired and awed with each step.
So it’s down to California we go. The Eastern Sierra Mountains are calling. I won’t write more than this just now. I don’t really like to talk but prefer to do. After the doing I will write some of the experience to share just what it was and how it feels to be done.
What I’m starting to realize clearly is that life could and should be an adventure. It’s a matter of making the time and taking the chance to have one of your own.