Paris was the last stop on my three month trip through Europe, and I’ve already found my way home and been lazing around for a couple of days. While I can’t say there’s been any reverse culture shock, the changes that occurred while I was gone still keep impressing me. So much has happened while I was gone. Most notably there was a massive flood that devastated the city centre and displaced 100,000 people. There are also little things I forgot, like that the little walking men at pedestrian cross walks are white in Calgary and not green like everywhere in Europe. There’s also the lack of efficient public transit, which led to me pulling out my trusty old touring bike rediscovering just how much I love it. I did a fair amount of bicycle riding through my trip, but I have never found another bike that fits as comfortably or rides as well as my Surly LHT.
I arrived home to a university degree that came in the mail while I was gone because I couldn’t wait a month and a half for the official convocation before taking this trip. It’s strange realizing that I’m not going back to school this fall, and quite a liberating feeling. Of course I’ll eventually have to start looking for a career based on my studies, but in the mean time I can return to my old student job. I’m not sure how I feel about settling down into some sort of routine, because the adventures of travel seem to come so easily, and I hardly want to give them up. I suspect for my next few trips I’d like to focus on North America, because I’ve realized that after this trip I have actually seen more of Europe than the continent I call home. The thought of how much more there is to see around the world feels like a challenge. It’s a shame explorer isn’t much of a profession any more these days.