We made it back to Seattle safe and sound this morning. Our first order of business was going straight to Paseo’s for a Cuban sandwich, and only after that was I ready to reacquaint myself with the PNW. I’d been thinking about that damn sandwich for months.

I wasn’t happy to be back in the States, to be honest. Leaving Buenos Aires was painful because I had such an amazing time with my cousins and I didn’t want to leave, I just wanted to get to know them better and eat at more new restaurants with them and continue our exciting conversations… but the plane was going to fly regardless. I had a knot in my stomach the whole way home just like the very first time I returned from a big trip in 2001. My first impression of the US was this: Headlines are used to generate fear, advertisements are used to create inadequacy. Pretty powerful one-two punch. I don’t know why it stood out on this trip more than others, maybe we’re in a particularly fear-generating period of our history. It’s ugly, anyway, and I wish they’d shut up.

The highlights of the trip for me were:
Hostel 1004 at Bariloche. I could have spent all three months there staring at the mountains & lake.
The samba club on Florianopolis – a life highlight for sure.
The endless churrasco dinner in Rio.
The favela tour in Rio.
The pace of life in BA with Tom, Maya and Tally.
Being with Azure in Punta del Diablo.
Walking across Ilha Grande.

We’d planned on going to Europe this month, but I decided I wasn’t focused enough for it so I’m staying home while Azure and her mom eat up a storm in Italy. (Everything’s great between Az and I, don’t worry). Inspired by my cousin Maya and our new friends Nathan and Annette, I’m going to be going to a 10-day silent meditation retreat later this month (3/19 to 3/30). I’m trying to keep an open mind about it, but I know it’ll be challenging. I won’t be allowed to talk to anyone nor write nor listen to music or read, etc. They’ll feed me and provide a place to sleep, plus instruct me in meditation. I guess it’s my way of extending the trip, extracting more from this quarter year.

Between now and then, though, I’ll be back to washing windows and reconnecting with Seattle.

Thank you all for reading these emails and responding or not. You can still go to our blog where Az will write about Italy and I’ll write about the meditations. Our pictures are at Flickr but not everything’s uploaded yet. Check it again in a day or two. We took about 1500 pictures on the trip, so our work is cut out for us, only a fraction have been uploaded thus far.

I’ll contact you again next Fall when I’m putting together the email list for our next trip. Until then, take care!


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