Wow.

183 days later and I’m finally going home. If you’re only following me through my blog which is entirely possible, you’ll know that I’ve definitely fallen behind on the posting for many reasons, the least of which was the non existant wifi in Ethiopia and now that I’m in the developed world I’m getting lazy. I will definitely fill in all of those posts and pictures in due time, but now, it’s time for an ending.

In about 4 hours, I’ll be leaving for my final trip to the airport and I’ll be home in time for dinner. There are so many little things that I’m impossibly excited about. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed. I’ll only need one currency and I’ll never have to mental math converting currencies. I’ll get to stop unpacking and repacking every 2 or 3 nights. I’ll get to wear more than 4 or 5 different shirts. I don’t take malaria pills every night anymore and I’m sick and tired of cold showers, strange showers, dirty showers, or usually all three. I’ll finally sleep in my own bed.

But to say that I’m excited to come home isn’t all true. I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time for the last 6 months. I’ve been to 15 countries (since I’ve last posted about Ethiopia, I’ve been to the U.A.E., Turkey, Italy, France, and the U.K.) and I’ve had an incredible time in every single one. I’ve gone to some of the most remote places on the planet and I’ve seen some of the most incredible landscapes and scenery you can’t even imagine. I’ve practically taken a tour of world religions, going to mosques, temples, and synagogues all over the world. I’ve visited ancient ruins and the tallest buildings. I’ve never had an experience like this before and I never will again.

The one thing that I will take away from this more than anything though (brace yourselves… it’s about to get cheesy) is my connection with all of the people. I’ve met literally thousands of people all over the world. I have a theory that bus conductors are the nicest people around the world, always making sure I know when it’s my stop, even if I don’t speak the language. People will let me use their phones, go out of their way to give me directions or even walk me to where I’m going, and usually people are always just curious about my life and I learn something about theirs. In all 15 countries I’ve met fantastic interesting people, locals and travelers alike.

When I started the trip, I thought, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to meet all of the people that I’ve met on the trip in my last post,” but honestly that list has grown so large that I’m bound to forget someone and most likely I’ll forget about 20 people. Special shout outs do go to my sister Tori, for putting up with me all throughout Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam; my great friend Mia for virtually planning our entire 2 weeks in China; the incredible Yoshika who herself has only just got back to the U.S. after briefly hosting me in Bangladesh; my a cappella mate Kunal and his entire family for letting me crash for a whole week in Delhi far outstaying my welcome and bringing me along to a wedding; all of my relatives in Italy for stuffing me full with lasagna on a regular basis; and last but not least my friends Charlie and Paul for the couch and movie screeners that I’ve been abusing for the last 4 days. Well, and I can’t forget my fantastic mom for helping out on the back-end, always helping with the logistics, plane flights, and all of the boring stuff that keeps me going.

But the people I really want to thank are the people who will never read this blog. My first real day on my own I went to Hong Kong Disneyland and because I’m a 7 year old at heart, as soon as the gates opened I raced to the newest roller coaster. I obviously was first in line so I sat in the front seat. The small fat 12 year old kid who sat next to me instantly struck up a conversation and we ended up spending the whole day together. It’s people like him, or the woman who ran down the street to tell me that she gave us the wrong directions and walked us to the right place or the vast number of men in Kenya who successfully got my passport through 500 km of bandit territory. These are the people that I want to thank. I have found such unrelenting kindness and I’ve been truly inspired by it. Inspired to do what? Well… I don’t really know. But certainly inspired.

Well, it’s time for me to get my final hours of shut eye before taking off. Before I forget, ’tis the season and I encourage anyone and everyone to donate to any of the charities I talk about here. So finally after 24 plane flights, 10 long distance trains, and a guesstimated 500 bus, truck, taxi, and tuk tuk rides to get every where in between, I’ll finally be done. Good night and wish me luck. Thanks for reading the blog and I hope to see all of you soon.

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