Of course, I ended up flying back to the States. I didn't have enough energy to do anything else.
That was a good thing. (And I was lucky enough that no security guards frisked me when I returned to Athens' airport. Whew!) It was good because my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan was where I wanted to be - for the moment, at least.
I planned to live in one of my city's beautiful, old, downtown buildings. I planned to avoid shopping at corporations whenever I could; I planned to get around by bicycle.
I planned ... to enjoy Michigan's four seasons; to be active in the social dancing community; to seek loving relationships with women; to play basketball, baseball, soccer, maybe even rugby with the guys; to share inspiring conversations with everyone; and to begin composing music on a piano, maybe.
And if, after a while, I found myself to be unhappy, then I could go somewhere else.
But for now, and possibly forever, I wanted to be in my hometown. I had friends and family here, most of whom I hadn't seen in sixteen months. All four of my grandparents were still alive. Old, but alive. A lot of people had said to me when I was traveling: "You're going to have a lot of stories to tell your grandkids." Heck, I was going to have a lot of stories to tell my grandparents!
I'd accomplished my dream.
I owed one more "much thanks" to my friends Joanna, Art, Flora, & Aquiles for the place to stay in Chicago, as I returned home from Athens.
Over the years, in strange and beautiful and sometimes scary places far from home, I met many many people who seemingly would've done anything to help me. Thanks, guys.
I would especially like to thank the four people who showed me this the most. This story belonged to them:
My best Czech friend, Klara Sigmundova.
And Grandpa Breen, a great baseball player.
And thanks to my brother, Brandon, for being the biggest supporter of my writings.
And thanks to everyone for reading.
"Woohoo, I did it. I've seen the world!"
happily entering retirement,
the Modern Oddyseus