Monday, November 19, 2007

After all is said and done...

... I'm back to where I started, but definitely not in the metaphorical sense. Traveling alone was a great decision and I loved that I left without a plan.

Flying into London sitting cozy in first class was an incredible stroke of luck and kickass omen of the events that were to come. Going wherever I pleased unencumbered by, well, anything is definitely how I want to live. Admiring city history, style, architecture, and the womens... there's just so much soul, beauty, and class to experience in this world. Memorizing bus and metro lines gave my sense of direction a punch to the face, but I eventually got used to it. But then getting lost half the time was part of the experience. Staying at hostels was great. Staying with family was great. With the former, I met people from all over the world and touring cities with these strangers felt entirely natural. With the latter, I finally had the chance to be a proper nephew and cousin by actually existing. And now, reminiscing like this is something I'll be able to do whenever I like. Oh, and two weeks vacation a year is absolute bullshit.

Before I left, world traveling was always my ideal of how to live a great life. The six weeks I spent in Europe was an absolute reaffirmation. Needless to say, I'm addicted. Of course bouts of loneliness would hit me every now and then when I wasn't with family, but I also appreciated the times when it was just me and my camera. And here's the work I have to show for it. Enjoy and cheers to mortality.


Brussels & Belgium:

Berlin & Munich:

Florence & Tuscany:



Paris, Annecy & Antony:


Monday, November 5, 2007

The last days

Thursday: Barcelona beaches and parks. Walked the awesome La Rambla again as well. Night train out back to Geneva where I traded travel stories with a Spaniard working man.

Friday: Arrived at effing 5:30 in the morning, took the number 9 bus back to my favorite place in Geneva, and went back to sleep after my cousins left for school. From there it was a day of play.

Saturday: Back to temple in Ecublens to commemorate 100 days since my uncle's passing away. Found out a lot about my mom's side of the family and I'm grateful to have had the chance to listen to the stories I would never be able to hear otherwise. From there it was a quick visit to an uncle's office before heading back to Geneva to shoot a round of pool, lose at multiple games of table hockey, and showing my cousins who rules the ping pong table.

Sunday: Big breakfast, small lunch with the family from Geneva before saying the inevitable adieus. Quick flight back and rested up at the hostel. Afterwards was meeting up again with Michel, who I met at the start of my trip. Glad to see he was doing well. Arranged plans for the next day and walked the night streets of London alone with my D40 and thoughts. Two such thoughts I'll get deeper into another time: if time is money, why are so many people focused on the latter? Also,

Monday: Woke up entirely too early before heading out to stock up on the best shower soap ever. After that was another free tour. Turns out though that the tour had been revamped a bit, so I didn't get to see everything as advertised, but still a good time was had. Also met Ellie on the tour, a fashion designer from Seoul. The two of us ended up walking Covent Garden, Picadilly Square, and other shopping areas before parting ways. From there, I met up with Michael again at Viet Grill. We ate entirely too much with another of his friends before going to a coworker's place to eat and drink some more. Nice quality time with Vietnamese and observing how my peoples fare here in London.

Tuesday: Woke up, made my way to the airport, bought a few books, had a British breakfast, and boarded the plane. No first class this time and I didn't want to press my luck again, but it was an empty plane. I passed on four seats along the aisle and chose two seats near the window as I stayed up all the entire time and watched movies then entire flight, including an awesome Hong Kong shooter called "The Exiled", a Japanese time travel comedy, and the vomit-inducing "Spider-man 3". I landed, met my mom and the rest of my family at the airport, and arrived home.

My time traveling, this time around, was over.

Next up: Thoughts on traveling alone, highlights, pictures, and figuring out what comes next.