The Fruits of Travel

Not too much happened today. It was a Monday, what can I say. The kids were as excited to be there as we were. I woke one kid up from sleep several times in my class on habitats(truth be told I was boring myself), Lindsay accosted one student in her class for smirking and I witnessed several kids get a ruler across the palm of their hand(not by Lindsay). But the kimchi was good at lunch, the walk home delightful in the sun and the evening run was something to write home about.

Despite the typical day here, September 10th is always special to me.

You see every September 10th I get to thinking about my buddy Sam Kirby. This day six years ago Sam talked me into traveling with him to Western Europe. I bought my ticket on-line about 8 hours before planes flew into the World Trade Center. I balked, but Sam talked me into going by promising 5 weeks of “seeing Europe through the backdoor.” Essentially meaning that we would do everything that typical tourists don’t.

Every night we tried to find ourselves in some random situation with locals. That was our goal. I have to say that we did a pretty good job. Our most random night was spent playing snooker deep into the Scottish night with two members of the Royal Army in an old abandon aluminum town during our hike on the West Highland Way. Then there was the night we danced all night with a locals in Barcelona at a private dinner party.

Had it not been for Sam’s wild idea to go backpacking in Europe I doubt my life would have turned out the way it did. I was having somewhat of a quarter life crisis before the trip. I was in a funk, but this trip helped.

Two years later, when I first met Lindsay, we found common ground in our passion for traveling. Not only am I convinced that the trip helped me land my hottie wife(who is completely turned on by travel and for the record does not “look goofy” on her new bike) but it also gave me the courage to come to Korea.

I left after 5 weeks of intense traveling but Sam went on to live with a fruit bat in Copenhagen, see the northern lights in Norway, get mugged in Moscow and end up completely broke in Germany, Italy and France. I really should have stayed on with him. I think his lack of money caused him to lose something close to 15 lbs before he made it home. I always call him this time of year to thank him for the memories.

Sam, consider this a public thank you.

And if you have the means to go travel with a friend, do it. It may just change your life.

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