Friday, January 18, 2008

New Year

In the last month I’ve been in four countries, seen almost all my family, celebrated 6 holidays, travelled half way around the world (twice) and started a new year. Crazy to think I’ve been back in Albania for two weeks already. There is something about this place that just seems to consume time. I would now say that I’m ‘readjusted’ to Albania…whatever that means.

Even though I’ve only been here about 10 months, after going home I have a small idea of what Peace Corps volunteers face once returning to America after a two year service. It was great to see family and friends, and much needed, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was out of place. It’s strange to feel that way at home. I’m sure it is only magnified with time. As a tangent I learned that America was somewhat boring. Not in a bad since, but in a way I’m just not used to. When things work, buses, phones, electricity, and you speak the language fluently I suppose there is just a lack of conflict that keeps you stimulated. But that’s neither here nor there.

Aside from the small amounts of hibernation, due to jet lag, I’ve been trying to find a routine and plan out what I can start doing come spring time, as most of my projects will start taking off then (I hope). The weather has been phenomenal; in the high 50’s or low 60’s all week with a bit of rain here and there.

One small last thing that some of you may be interested in know about is that I’ve started to plan the trip I plan to make after I finish here in Albania. My two best friends and I plan to travel for a couple months hitting quite extensively the Middle East and North Africa. We will start here in Albania and travel around the North side of the Black Sea, hitting Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. Then drop into the M.E. and hit Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Then cross into Africa hitting Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. Finally if it’s possible hop on a cargo ship somewhere either in Morocco or Portugal and take that across the Atlantic, stopping along the ports of call in Western Europe and the UK. Hopefully if all works out that will be the itinerary….let me know if any of you have any ideas of things to do along the way.

All the best.


Rob said...

Great to hear that you've settled back in okay. I know that finding your way back into a routine can be a valuable (and sometimes challenging) task. Good luck with the slower parts of the remaining season, and I hope things pick up for you.

Needless to say, it was great to see you. I felt spoiled to have you here. Best wishes as always, and lots of love.


Raignn said...

I can second Rob saying he felt spoiled to have you here. And you trip sounds super awesome. I'm jealous.

Love you bunches!

Nicole said...

Michael! Soooo...the trip you are planning with your friend sounds amazing...I would kill to do something like that!

I am glad to hear that you are getting back into the swing of things. I am slowly starting to get back into the school thing...blah! Have you been working on the portfolio at all? Or made any decisions on where you might want to apply?

Well, hope to hear from you soon :)

Later gator ~ Nicole

Kathy said...

I have read this several times and have gone back posts when you were first in Albania to compare. How different you sound now! And planning to be a world traveler! Wish I could go along with you!

I look forward to seeing you in just a few short weeks in YOUR home in Vlore!
Much Love Kathy