Journal 25 - April 22, 2003

A Desirable Dilemma » Go Back

Being back in my country after over six months of being away was very shocking, and a bit depressing after my time in South America. This is not to say that New York isn't an amazing city, but as soon as I landed in Atlanta I wanted to get on the next flight back to Rio. After half a year of flinching in disgust every time I saw other American tourists, particularly large groups of tour-guided tourists, the horror of being in a tram full of Americans at the Atlanta airport was almost too much for me. Thankfully, only a couple of hours later I was in multi-cultural New York.

As mentioned in my previous email, I was originally planning to stop in New York on my way to Nepal, where I was to do some trekking and surround myself with some of the world's most beautiful scenery. While in New York I began my preparations for Nepal by buying some trekking gear and the necessary guidebooks. I was also fortunate to see a bunch of great friends and my wonderful cousin Day. While here I also sampled four hotel rooms in nine nights thanks to priceline.com and my ever-changing itinerary. A great way to get a hotel by the way, but better if you know exactly how long you'll be in a given place. My first attempt got me a room in a legitimate, Three-Star hotel for $50. My second, third, and fourth in a 2 1/2 Star for $58.

During my time here I also spent a lot of time thinking about my itinerary and next destination. In the end I decided not to go to Nepal due to many factors, which then left me with the desirable dilemma of deciding where to go instead? For those who know me well, you know decision-making isn't a strong point of mine. My first instinct was to fly immediately back to Brazil, land of many beaches and small bikinis. In fact, for a couple of days I had convinced myself this was my decision. However, considering I eventually need to be in Europe for the Tour de France in July, going to Brazil would mean a lot more backtracking and zigzagging than I've already done, plus the extra expense of flying to Brazil and back, then to Europe. So, instead I've decided to fly directly to Europe now and spend the next three months there until the Tour de France is over, at which point I can go back to Brazil if I so desire.

My flight for Brussels leaves tonight (Tuesday). From there I'll hopefully head down to warmer southern Europe for some beach time and the lower prices of Turkey, Greece and or Croatia, before making my way back to the north of Spain for the Running of the Bulls in early July, then the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France immediately after that.

Why four paragraphs to tell you I'm on my way to Europe? Because it's my way of convincing myself that not going back to Brazil is the right thing to do. Even as I write this there is a Brazilian girl next to me speaking Portuguese on her cell phone.....

Europe better be good.

Justin