By the time you read this I will be well on my way to Melbourne, Australia. My flights are in no way direct, convenient, or brief and if you want to follow my progress across the world my flight information and United Airline’s plane tracker can be found in my previous post entitled https://recollectionsofawanderer.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-plan/. Sitting here now, I am planning on being able to keep you posted of my location by quickly update this blog as I land and hurriedly board my next plane. However I can not guarantee that I will be able to do this and so the link and flight information above will be your most reliable source.
But this post is not about my flights to Australia. It is about the people who have made this experience possible with their faith, love, and support.
To my family…
Mom and Dad. I know that we have had our differences over the years and that I haven’t always been the best at showing my gratitude for everything that you do for me but I want you to know that I love you with all my heart. Without you, none of this would be happening for me. You raised me to have an open mind and with an immense desire to not just learn about the world but to also experience it. When you allowed the three of us to participate in CISV, you not only opened us up to opportunities that few people get in their entire lives but also established a curiosity in me without which I am not sure I would be doing this semester abroad. Throughout this entire process (and the past 20 years) you have been there to calm me down and keep me going in the right direction even when I fought against you with every fibre of my being. Thank you for not giving up on me and supporting me as I travel to the other side of the world and, even if I don’t always show it, I love you both more than words can describe.
Amy and Sara. I will miss you both terribly. Sara, you have been gone for the past 5 months already and it has definitely been strange not having you around for the holidays and those random weekends back in Cincinnati. I know that your experience in Cambodia hasn’t exactly been perfect and that your plans have changed slightly but I still want you to come see me in Australia and to share a beer and travel stories with me. Amy, I know that you are going through a very challenging and exciting transition in your life and I wish you the best of luck these next two quarters at OU. I am disappointed it didn’t work for you to come see me while I am over there but I promise you that there is very little in this world that is more exciting than being a freshman in college. You will have your chance to rub it into my face that you get to go travel somewhere exotic for 6 months and when that chance comes I will most likely have a 9-5 job that I hate. Don’t forget to have fun but remember that my spies will tell me when you are having too much fun.
Aunts, Uncles, Cousines, and extended family everywhere. I am blessed to have a family big enough that I do not have the time to go through individuals, but I want all of you to know that I am very excited that you are reading this blog and following my travels in Australia. I know that my time abroad will keep me from very important family gatherings but just know that I love you all very much and cannot wait until I get to see all of you again.
To my Interchange…
Gio and Guigo. Holy shit, I would not be alive to write this if you two hadn’t been there to help me through the past two summers. But for every moment of drama and frustration there were equal amounts of hysterical laughter, picture perfect moments, and learning experiences that I will never forget. Thank you both for two amazing summers and for making Sao Paulo a home away from home for me.
Kids. I don’t even know if I should be calling you kids anymore. You all will always be so near and dear to my heart. It is hard for me to think of you all starting high school but I am so excited to watch you grow from the amazing kids you were to the loving adults you will be. I am always here for you (whether I am in the States, Australia, or anywhere else in the world) no matter what. Don’t be strangers, okay?
To my friends…
What would I do without you? You all have gotten me through so much and I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am. Unfortunately there is no way for me to go through all of you on here (but for that I have an idea you will see later) but that in no way diminishes the value that I put on my relationship with each and every one of you. I know that sometimes I am stubborn, too sarcastic, and opinionated but you all have not only put up with me but made efforts to include me in your lives. For that, I will forever be grateful. Over the past few weeks I have steadily said my goodbyes to you and I want you to know that I will miss you terribly. It is going to be difficult to not be able to see you everyday, talk to you without scheduling Skype dates, and I am going to miss all the spontaneity and hilarity you bring into my life everyday.
Chalkboard. I fucked up. You are absolutely right that we are close enough for you to call me out on forgetting you were at Azteca’s for my farewell dinner but you are absolutely wrong that I don’t owe you an apology. I will be religiously following your Twitter rants about the Blackhawks for the rest of the season and am counting down the days where I get to lose myself in your purple (albeit fake purple) eyes 😉 love you
I also owe an apology to KitKat and Girlfriend for not mentioning their names as well. I suck and I am sorry.
Coach. I don’t know what I would do without you. You have been there for me through thick and thin and I have helped me through so many different situations. I am going to miss you and the predawn coffee, bunny rabbits, and bridges that you bring into my life. I want to thank you for not giving up on me even when I had given you every reason to and for being a voice of reason when I had none. You are truly my best friend. Don’t forget to let your ‘natural’ hair down every once in awhile and of course don’t forget to smile.
Running Bull. You may be the one person who I can go without talking to for months at a time and be able to step back into it without missing a beat. I can tell you anything and everything. Thank you for never going easy on me and always reminding that there is always love behind tough love even when it doesn’t seem like it. I can’t wait to have our second annual birthday extravaganza with you when I get back.
I am who I am today because of you. You all have helped to shape me probably in more ways than I would like to admit. My friends and family are a part of me and no distance or time will ever change that. Yes, a lot of things will change while I am gone but that in no way means that I will forget about any of you. One of the reasons why I am so confident about this experience is because I know I have you all to support, push, and encourage me. Thank you for everything you have and will do for me.
I miss you already,