It is glorious to start a new journal simultaneously with the beginning of a two week bike tour of eastern Europe. I am maintaining my travelog entries in a paper journal I picked up at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago when I was hookie playing from work with a coworker.

I entered my marathon of international travel via the Madison WI airport well in advance of my flight. It is from there that I post this. My ride had to go to work, unlike me. But I don't mind because it gives me ample time to write and post. I already filled three or so pages of my paper journal but I will just summarize here for expediency.

Most of my biking on this trip will probably be in Germany, based on the cursory perusal of the itinerary supplied by the supporting bike tour group. I don't like to get too familiar with travel plans because I prefer the spontaneity of not knowing some things, not having expectations and being pleasantly surprised on occasion. I have a general idea of what's in store, but the specifics still await me. The only expectation I have is for fun and I think that is virtually guaranteed.

My travel arrangements are primo and the weather looks promising for a smooth and timely arrival in Prague, Czech Republic, at what will be about 1 AM Wisconsin time and like 9 AM Prague time. It's a red eye flight over the Atlantic and I am fully prepared to trick my biological clock into avoiding jet lag by getting some sleep on the flight. I have my neck support pillow in my carry on bag and a Benadryl capsule in my earplug case. Once the overseas flight is in the air, I will drug myself into an antihistamine stupor and hopefully not wake until the descent into the Amsterdam dawn. The flight from Amsterdam to Prague is akin to Chicago to Minneapolis. Minimally rested from the flight, I should be able to burl on through day one of my European experience.

I think it will help that I am a bit fatigued from a fabulously fun weekend in Oshkosh WI. That should make power napping or full on sleeping on the plane possible. I was up there for the annual Oshkosh Indie Horror Film Fest that I attend every year. Many independently produced horror flicks, both short and feature length, over two days. I actually went up Friday night for the unofficial kickoff event, the movie "Night of the Living Dead," at the Time Community Theater, where the film fest started at 11 AM on Saturday.

My Oshkosh peeps, Todd and Sherry, are dog sitting my Boston terrier, Foster, whilst I am in Europe. My other dog, Buddy, is at the kennel. Foster is much too emotionally sensitive for the kennel. He needs lots of socialization. Since Todd and Sherry have two Bostons of their own and also love Foster, that's the optimal scenario for him. Lots of TLC. Buddy is much less social and does fine at the kennel. He has been there many times and is used to it.

My canine companions are really the only significant things keeping me from deciding to just not come back from Europe.

These next two weeks, I will be gloriously free of the socio-political issues that plague the U.S. Most of the time, I avoid American mainstream media, because it is toxic and stressful. That keeps my mind much more at ease. But in Europe, I will be even more cut off from information in the world at large, experiencing only with my senses the local color and immediate environment, which will mostly be in a completely non-understandable foreign language. The U.S. can sail right on over the fiscal cliff while I am gone, as far as I am concerned. If the air traffic controllers get furloughed, I will simply hope it is an opportunity to stay in Europe even longer, to become even more culturally enlightened.

I would not mind staying in Europe forever and saying "fugoff" to my American life. Not that it is a bad life. I do love my "people" and my pups. But it would be exciting and bold to make a change like that. On the other hand, if I made such a decision, I would probably choose the south island of New Zealand as my escapist life changing getaway locale.

But for now, I plan to come back home at the end of this trip. Who knows? I might meet a raven haired Czech beauty who will seduce me into never leaving Europe. It is highly unlikely, and probably the only thing that would spur me to take a major life changing plunge like that. As I said, I approach this journey with no expectations and a zen-like open mind. Anything could happen, but whatever happens, I have no doubt it will be exceptionally awesome. Awesomeness is the best one can hope for, so stay tuned and I will try to post as much of the awesomeness as I can for your vicarious pleasure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope your journal serves you well. I am still searching for the right graph paper diary.

Now fuggggggoff!