plowed through some of the paperwork yesterday, and i'll do some more today. not nearly as bad as i thought it would be, and soon, i'll be free to leave with a lighter body, spirit and backpack!
speaking of which, as i contemplate where to go from here, i am so thankful to you for our first backpacking trip that gave us the travel bug. we both talked about it, dreamt about it, said, "one of these days…" it wasn't until my father passed away that we decided it's now or never, do or die. remember how we scrimped and saved every penny for a whole year? slowly got rid of our things by selling, donating or giving them away until we were left with what we thought we couldn't part with? we put those into storage and headed out intending to see the world, determined to hit every spot on the map we had put a pin into!
our bags were overstuffed, and we could barely walk with the weight, but we were so pleased with ourselves, so happy that the possibilities were endless, the world our oyster! the first few weeks we spent many a sleepless night missing our bed, our pillows, the water pressure of our shower. then we started getting into a rhythm, picking up a bit of local language, eating different food, and delighted that everything cost so little.
we set out to see all the sights we read about, and each was breathtaking. tikal, machu picchu, angkor wat and so many others were truly magnificent in history and grandeur, but ultimately, the human and animal connections were the most memorable. it was the exchange of cultures, smiles, licks and touch that changed us. people who started out as strangers are now friends. there were so many encounters, and each one, no matter how brief, touched us and expanded our hearts, getting ever larger until we had more love than hate, more peace than fear. no wonder we found it so irresistible. no wonder we wanted more and more!
soon i'll leave long beach to get me some more and feed this addiction. they say that the human heart is limitless in how much it can love and be loved so i'm going out to test that theory, to continue to grow, to lighten my load as i am lifted and carried by those i love. so hurry up and get ready cause i'm taking you with me…
p.s., we have waaaay too many photos!