Tired but joy-filled, we arrived safe and sound at LAX last night around 10:30pm.Â Breezing through US Customs was somewhat anti-climactic after all we’d been through – it seemed as if the officers should want to know more about where we’d been, the memories we had stored, and the experiences we had brought back in our hearts.Â But no, a smile and a half-glance at our passports and we were on our way.Â I don’t think any of us, but especially those of us “first-timers”, will be able to assimilate what this trip meant for many weeks.Â I don’t feel fully at home yet; the freeway was too linear, the neon signs too bright, the drivers too cautious (though Angela still raced across the crosswalk at LAX in fear of being hit!)Â My bed doesn’t quite feel right and the night sounds of Quito were strangely absent in my sleep.Â
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.Â I travel for travel’s sake.Â The great affair is to move, to feel the needs and hitches of our lives more nearly; to come down off this feather bed of civilization and find the globe granite underfoot, and strewn with cutting flint.”Â R.L. Stevenson.
“The real meaning of travel, like that of a conversation by the fireside, it the discovery of oneself through contact with other people, and its condition is self-commitment in the dialogue.”Â Paul Tournier.
My heartfelt appreciation goes out to Ben & Michelle, Fred & Shveta, Kristeen, Thoi, Mike, Sri, Sukh, my fellow goddesses Joy & Criselda & Jim (!); my ‘new best friend’ Bharti, Jason and (most especially) Angela, for trekking the granite globe alongside me while allowing me to participate in a wonderous conversation of self-discovery.Â Our journey is a treasure that I will hold dear and close; I am so thankful for the gift of all of you.