Busking in a Brussels Metro Station: The Future and Beyond.

Brussels, I shall dream of thee.
Last year following our return abroad I wrote a final reflective piece on our trip. It's interesting to look back on myself then as the person I was. Sure the trip changed me, but it also influenced an entire year. School, learning French, applying abroad, building my character and self confidence. I'm certain that this trip will ultimately have an equally profound affect upon me in the year to come. I think it already has. Somewhere outside a bar in Brussels I think I made the decision that this is it... that it's time to let go out of all the fears, and inhibitions holding me back- all the reasons I'm staying in the U.S. and find a way, no matter what the risk is- to risk it all and go abroad. I've come back to finish school, and complete my first degree, but when that's over I'm determined to put my American life in storage and go. If it's living in a metro station busking and singing 80's television theme songs for change- then so be it. Life's too short to worry about consequences when the reward is so much greater.

In the last 30 days I've driven through 9 states, visited 10, went to 4 different countries, several continents, and traveled about 30,000 miles in total. I've seen a lot, done a lot, felt a lot- and I've never been more sure of what I want to do... and it's as simple as this... I want to do good. I want to meet as many people as possible, go to as many places I can,and tell as many people as I can find that this thing called "life" is one awesome trip, and to never, ever take it for granted. If we all stop fighting over our petty differences, with our stupid wars, lose our ideologies that demand of us to keep ourselves from loving someone else simply because they're different- perhaps we would all recognize how precious this gift is- how wonderful life can be when we step outside ourselves to be someone else for a moment.

I want to dig wells in Africa for the thirsty, read books to the illiterate in eastern Europe, even perhaps influence a few fellow Americans who all have way to much money and free time and who could be doing these things too. I also want to get back out in my neighborhood and meet our homeless while I'm still here, and get more involved locally. It's not grandiose, or spectacular- but it's simple and as special as the moment you turn around on your international flight from Cairo to London and meet a French speaking Arabic girl and talk to her in French. She couldn't care that I fumble with my words, she's just glad to have a friend... and perhaps one day when she grows up she won't see Americans as the country who brings wars to her neighboring countries, but as me- that one person who played peek-a-boo through the seat back of an airliner.

I think it's appropriate to once again end on the same note as last year with the words of Thomas Wolfe:

He saw now that you can't go home again--not ever. There was no road back.







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