Cafe Hitch-hike



The trip was profound on so many levels. It wasn't because I did ayahuasca or revisited my first love. Those 2 factors definitely influenced my sense of openness to other things I encountered on the trip, but yet... I already know this is the kind of stuff that changes one's perception. I got to see other things with my eyes and my heart, and they made me feel alive and so much more of everything.

Things will not be the same. It's a little like the way it was when I returned from my Europe trips in 1998. Yeah, I feel a bit of infatuation in my heart, but also infatuation with life and the whole experience of these past 2 weeks. I'm also surprised as all get-out because I pulled all of this off!

I scampered along the English seaside where I explored its cliffs and villages by myself. I loved the natural beauty even more than I thought! I've wanted to see the cliffs near Eastborne for so long! I even got time in and on the water by renting a paddleboard for a couple of hours. The changeable waters, along with walking on its rocky shores with bare feet, kicked my ass at first. But, I was up and about, riding those waves and even taking pictures. When I returned to the beach, a guy played a repetitive jazz guitar riff on the boardwalk; that song streams in my head and was the perfect backdrop for that day on the beach and those 2 days in the area. Thoughts of the previous days with Copperas dotted my mind. I didn't know quite what to make of it, but could feel it all in my heart and God, I missed him so much! I continued my wandering with barely had a sense of direction; I mostly went by the suggestions of the staff from where I stayed. I saw myself riding on top of a double decker bus that went from village to village down its winding roads at 10:30 at night, accompanied by teenage passengers who listened to their music.

The place where I stayed was part hostel and part holiday camp/ campground and I slept in a yurt. At my hostel/holiday camp, people enjoyed my presence and were great company. One funny part was one of the staff had to be consoled when the guests left because we were an interesting mix of people (can't forget about the 50ish German lady and her Belgian partner who sang a song titled 'Fuck off all you fuckers' with guitars at the campfire). They let me stay past my checkout time and gave me an alternate route by train back to London. The other funny part: the owner offered to father a child with me. Hahah, I'm sure he did that with every other eligible female guest. But, I gathered in our conversations that he did like being a father with 3 of his own, and I met 2 that ran around the lodging.

Talk about provoking my sense of adventure to the extreme! I got to do a lot of people watching, too, and learn more about the area. I felt so at peace in both the English and Dutch countryside. I got to see the seaside and inland, including some of the hilly areas surrounding Nijmegen.

Damn, I can't even begin to describe more. It almost brings me to tears because it was so dreamy. It was like a beautiful dream to travel, learn, feel that curiosity, and stoke that sense of adventure I've always possessed.

Copperas sent me occasional messages to check on me (yeah, more reminders of those incredible 2 days and feelings about all of that), although he didn't say much. We got to video chat once but the WiFi was not strong. I didn't have anything dramatic to say but did just want to touch base. What did come through was we were dazed and probably at the same intensity. We both reached out to our mothers to talk about it for a bit; I wonder what his said. My mother always seemed to know how things were between us, even 28 years ago. She said if she had time off, she would had loved to see me to talk about all of this.

I returned to my friend Carlo feeling a little dread, but the visit was it's so good to see you, my friend! His usually grouchy self lightened up considerably. We talked about the time we first met 21 years ago, with new insights and conclusions about us all. Oh, but I was so glad to see him again! We watched the dusk fall over Primrose Hill with dozens of others. This was last night. In our formerly customary fashion 20 years ago, I returned to my bedroom drunk, but muttering to myself, what the fuck? This really is happening! I made my return.

The night before: watching the sky darken at Beachy Head cliffs and hanging around the campfire at the hostel/ holiday camp. The night before that: passing out at the yurt and bypassing socializing because I was so emotionally spent from visiting Copperas in Nijmegen (not to mention the trip to getting back to England). The night before that, eating pizza at C's house then happily cocooning. It's like one cool thing happened after another. When it was all put together, I couldn't help but feel amazed.

What I'm writing here barely says it all. I just felt my soul breathe and so deeply in a way that it hadn't for so long. It brings me to tears to think of it. A sweet younger lady in Heathrow noticed I teared up. At least I could admit they were happy and joyful tears. There was also something about telling her a story that started before she was born. Gees, it then occurred to me that it seems like something Nicholas Sparks would write, hahahah!

I guess this is what a vacation is all about. Go out and do the things we usually don't or can't do. One thing I remember from my first trip to Europe was wanting to keep that new sense of openness and experience with me, and to also keep my new realization that life is for living; one can't work to live and live to work. It's not all about hard work and sacrifice. So what is it that I want to keep from this trip? Well, from what I can make of it at this point, the simple things of love, joy, and friendship. The sense of approaching people with openness and kindness rather than suspicion or defensiveness. Heck, and the feeling of being around people who genuinely are interested in you and are happy to see you. Also, to keep the appetite for adventure and the occasional (haha) amazement. I was able to integrate a lot of the initial takeaways from 1998 into my life. With these new ones, why not now and eventually?

I'm home, but I'm tired. I have the next 2 days to relax and immerse myself back into my work/life routine. Tomorrow I pick up my dog and get a yearly physical. The days after that? One can only wonder.

downwind | upstream