Here I sit, in the busy fourth terminal of John F. Kennedy International AIrport, NY, USA, counting the few hours until my plane departs, until I cross the Atlantic, until, for the very first time, my feet touch down on European soil. I'm excited.
This adventure, like my last and the one before that, began as nothing more than a fanciful notion, a fleeting thought that, well, I had never been to Europe and would like to go to Europe and should, why not, actually go to Europe. And not just go, but go in the most liberated sense, light luggage and limitless rail and ample time at hand. It was the kind of fanciful notion many of us have every day, thoughts of escaping routine and embracing adventure and discovering a new horizon, a new place and a new people and a new perspective.
It's easy for us to dismiss these notions, to call them fantasy and relish them as nothing but, to file them away for a later date, a later life. But more often than not, that life doesn't come, for we only get the one. YOLO, as they say it: you only live once.
I don't know what the next three months will bring, transformation or tragedy, beauty or boredom, fun or fatigue, but I know this: that the discovered will always trump the undiscovered, that a life disrupted in the pursuit of adventure is more important to me than a life wasted in the pursuit of the secure. You only live once, so let's make it count.
Thank you to everyone who has made this journey possible, to the friends and colleagues and coconspirators who have supported yet another crazy adventure with wisdom and warmth. Have an amazing summer, all, and do keep in touch.