ZOMGZZZZZ HIII LONG LOST FRIENDZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!! ZOOOOOOO0000mMMMGGggzzzZ!
Ahem. Deep breaths, Lexy. Channel your inner-civilized citizen. Please. PLEASE.
I've got a SURPRISE FOR YOU! How exciting! I wanted it to be a surprise, but I'm afraid I've potentially already given it away. "Why?" you ask, "What could you have possibly given away?"
Well, long lost friends, I'll give you a second to think about that. Dig into your inner Nancy Drew-abilities. Dig deep.
Ho. Hum. Tick. Tock.
Hum. Ho. Tock. Tick.
Tick. Tock. Ho Hum.
You got it! (Maybe.) My surprise is, "I AM BACK!" (This is the awkward moment when nobody even reads this post and I'm talking to long, lost, imaginary friends, and I'll end up just wallowing in the sadness of my interwebz lonerdome and eating copious amounts of cheetos and chocolate chips to compensate for my lack of real or virtual friendzzz. Or something. If you're reading this, please! Do show your existence so I can prevent obesity and heart attacks and stuff.) (Pff, who am I kidding? I'm still going to eat copious amounts of cheetos and chocolate chips and become obese and have a heart attack. #goyoungandhavinggoodmetabilismfornowdundundun)
But yes. It is true. I am home. After five and a half months. I am home. And it feels good. Real good. But also weird. Real, real weird.
In fact, I foresaw this post being miles and miles long because, hey! I've been gone for over five months! Seeing the world! I should be glabbering and jabbering and chitting and chatting! But, the thing is, it's all very weird. How do you summarize five months of adventures? Of experiences? Where do you even start?
I guess I'll try.
Over the past five and a half months, I've been taking major advantage my hard-earned minimum wage money (holllaaaa, forever 21!!!) and wandering the earth. The original plan was to be away for four months. But I just loved the world so much, I stayed an extra month and a half. (I'm really into the "going with my heart" thing.) I spent four months in the glorious country of Morocco - I spent three months volunteering with disabled kids and another month living in a village. Met amazing people and traveled around the beautiful country a lot (in fact, I experienced 17 out of 18 of Lonely Planet's (note: the best guidebook EVER) "Top 18 Experiences." Bam! I rock!) I spent another 6 weeks in Europe (Spain, France, Scotland, England, Ireland), via this amazing thing called couchsurfing (despite my love for fashion blogs, I must say that this site triumphs in awesomeness and earns the title of "the coolest thing about the internet, EVER." If you're into culture and the beauty of humans and life and things, check it out.)
I've basically been seeing beautiful sites. Meeting amazing people. Living incredible experiences. I've watched the sunset over a forest of palm trees on the border of Algeria and Morocco. I've met a 72 year old man who, in his youth, hitch hiked from Egypt to South Africa. I've slept under a party of falling stars amongst an endless sea of 300 meter sand dunes. And so much more. It's amazing. I've been so lucky. So, so lucky.
As I come home, it's time for me to reflect - to let the blur of the past 5 months sink in and maybe translate into something meaningful, something I can carry with me in the pockets of my heart strings. What have I experienced? What have I learned? How have I grown? What life lessons can I pass on to my hypothetical grandchildren?
Prior to leaving, I had no idea what to expect. None. In fact, I was even quite doubtful. In my first few days in Morocco - wandering on the streets in a country totally foreign to my own, hearing voices I couldn't even begin to comprehend, just being totally by myself in a foreign country - I thought to myself, "Why did you come here, Lexy?! Why didn't you just stay in Canada? With your families, your friends, your lovely job? WHY?" But then... that is the beauty. The amazing thing about traveling is the doubt, the unknown. You never know what is to come! Who you might meet! What beautiful things you might stumble upon! It's frightening, but amazing!
I had no idea of what I might encounter, experience. How I might change. I actually had this vision of me stumbling home with dreads and nose piercings and preachings about the world and epiphanies and life direction changes and "THIS is what we need to do, PEOPLE" speeches. And all that jazz. But no. No major epiphanies, no changes in my grand life scheme (whatever that is). Sorry, y'allz!
Rather, I'm coming home with a new collection of stories and memories and little lessons. I'm trying to find ways to articulate them, to translate them into my daily life. Lessons from the importance of saying 'yes,' to the fleeting nature of human connections and the need to cherish them, to the utter deliciousness of tea (who knew?). But I guess the main one is this: LIVE YOUR LIFE. If I'm going to be a person that walks around with dreads and nose piercings and preaching life philosophies (maybe next time!), this would be my mantra. Just live. Yo.
I think the most valuable thing I've gained from the past five months is perspective. Seeing the world is so important because you become exposed to such a diversity of things - so many different people and cultures and experiences and sites... and then you realize that BAM! This - all this diversity - is just a SMIDGEN of the world. Just a wee lil' dot in the ginormous of the world. THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE. So much. And we are so LITTLE. So little. And when you equate that - the bigness of the world and the smallness of us - the conclusion is just like, "Well, gee. We're nothings."
It's a crazy thought. But rather than finding it scary, I find it very empowering. Seeing the world - all the different people, as well as just the HUGENESS of it all - makes me realize that I am really nothing and OF COURSE I just have to LIVE MY LIFE. We all do. We have to find the things that we love, the things that makes us illuminated, and do as much as we can to do it as much as we can! We have to try to connect with as many people as possible because life is about sharing and connecting and loving and inspiring! We have to live our lives because life is too damn short and we are just so damn small!
so... LIVE. Go with your gut, your heart. Become illuminated and spread that light, that passion, that joy. See and experience and absorb as much as you can. Open your eyes, your mind, your heart. Do it.
Anyways. I didn't mean to go all Oprah on you guys, but hey! There it is. A mini-essay on the past five and a half months of my life (or something). If you read all that... holla atchyaaaa boiiii! (I don't know what that means, but let's pretend it's a really cool reward and you rock.)
I didn't think I'd come back to this blog, to be honest, but... apparently I really do like you guys? Who knew? Hehe. Plus, now that I'm back in Canada, I've written a bunch of creative endeavors that I plan on endeavoring this summer to prevent boredom from lack-of-traveling/ the-only-thing-I-had-planned-at-home-was-to-get-my-license-and-find-a-job (argh!), and since I have no friends back here (kidding! kind of), I thought I might as well share my summer projects with creatures other than my mom and dog. So yeah! Stay tuned.
Live your life.
AND ENOUGH ABOUT ME. How have YOU been? What is the 411? What has everybody been up to? What is the hot gossip? Tell me everything! What are you guys listening to? What's the cool jams? (Mean Girls reference, wee.) But really. I'm mighty curious to know how all you beautiful people have been up to in 2012 thus far! I love hearing stories! :) What's new in 2012? What has been the most exciting thing? The most unexpected? The lesson learned?
I really hope that you're all doing brilliantly. I really do! I hope you have a wonderful day! And, yay! I'll see you all soon!
P.S. I know I talked a lot. In case you forgot, or maybe you're just a curious george, this what I look like...
You know, just casually frolicking amongst the sand dunes in the Sahara... as you do... Side note: I'll potentially post more pictures from this voyage. I'm just currently in the process of sifting through, ahem, 17 000+ photos and dwindling them down into Facebook albums is proving to be challenging enough. But, I'll get them on the blog eventually because, you know, the more of me on the internet, the better? um...