Saturday, February 14, 2003

Well, I think I have finally made a big decision today. I have once again been contemplating whether or not I should finally move on from Sao Paulo and continue my travels. This city and this country has grown to mean so much for me and as I said before has become my home in a sense. That being said, I know that I came here on this trip to try and accomplish some things, some of which I have done, but many of which I haven't. I talked to my roomate, Greg, from ND a couple weeks ago and he said something that I haven't been able to get off my mind...and really touches a bit on why I have decided to move on. (side note: he called me to tell me he has a baby due in May...congratulations to him and Jen!)

I mentioned to him that I have been seeing a girl here in SP for the past couple months and that I have begun to develop rather strong feelings for her, but I knew I would leave pretty soon and couldn't let it go too far. I was saying that I don't think any one thing could hold me here in SP at this point because I feel like there is still a lot left for me...specifically I said that there were so many things I still wanted to "see". He commented that I may be making a big mistake "because of geography". At the time I didn't respond correctly, but it stuck with me. True that I want to literally "see" many things here in South America and in the world for that matter...but that really isn't the only thing. It is really more the experiences that I having and that are out there waiting for me that keep me going. By that I mean the people and the cultures are the reason I want to continue on. I think that as long as that fire is burning inside me, I would be cheating myself if I didn't do whatever I could to keep going. Sure, maybe it's a little selfish, I don't deny that...but that's how it is for me at this stage of my life. That is probably the reason I haven't had a serious relationship in the past 5 years. I'm just having way too much fun to stop at this point...not that one can't enjoy themselves if they choose to settle down...however, there are many things I wish to accomplish first, and in that respect I would be cheating myself.

Anyway, I got a little away from what I was trying to say there...basically that I can't stay here forever and I feel I must move on...even though in my head I'm not sure if it is the right thing and I have grown so attached to what I would consider a perfect life here in SP. As I said over a year ago when speaking of the pains of leaving Houston behind...we musn't get too comfortable with ourselves...it is incredibly important for us to keep growing as people to stretch our comfort zones. It's the only way to grow. So I have decided that I'm finally going to go...this time for sure. I"ll tell Bert tomorrow and the school on Monday. It's time to pack up shop.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that down "on paper". Hell, maybe I'll change my mind and these words will never see the light of day again...but I doubt it. I have to admit that it scares me to think about being back out there on the road again. I'll be heading towards Argentina and most likely will settle in Buenos Aires (here and ever after refered to as BA). I have a friend, Anthony, from Houston that is going to spend a few months traveliing in South America so we will get a place together for a couple months in BA. Thinking about having to do all these things again...finding work, an apartment, learning a new city and culture, and just adjusting in general makes me feel pretty scared. I remember how difficult my first months here in SP were and I'm sure it will be similar in BA. It is a lot to go through, but I know I can handle it. Atleast I don't have to go through the pains of learning another language this time...a definite advantage. I am a bit worried about how difficult it might be to find work in BA at the moment. Ever since their economy collasped in early 2002, the country and it's people have been reeling from the after effects. It is even apparent in the travelers I have met from there...they are a bit angry and with their political and economic situation and it really can be seen in the way they speak about their country and in their mood in general. You can see they are a little pissed off at the world. Being from the USA, getting totally screwed by your country's political situation is not something we are forced to deal with (you know what I mean). Anyway, I hope finding something for me there isn't too hard.

The only other thing I really want to say is that I don't regret one second I spent here in SP even though it was longer than I every thought I would be here. As I said back in December, Leandro, Mark and Bert have become like brothers to me...I guy couldn't ask for a better family and I will never forget all the things we've done together. I'm sure for many months I'll be thinking of our days at the boteco and my kicking their asses at Stratego:) (although Bert finally dethroned me last week) I'll also never forget my students, my many other friends here, and life at Avenida Sabia 400. Good times. Good times.

So that is all I have to say for now. I must say that at the moment I am feelling sad thinking about leaving Mark and Bert and all my SP friends behind. I think the following weeks will be particularly tough...having to go through saying goodbye to everyone. Atleast I get to go out in a blaze of glory...next week we will travel for a week for Carnaval. I'm really excited because Sunny is coming and it will be great for Bert and I to go spend time on the road together. After Carnaval, I'll probably spend 2 weeks saying goodbye and getting things in order to travel again. By the 15th I should be out of SP and maybe I'll get to BA a week later. So a big change is coming up...but I welcome the challenge. It was a difficult decision I made today, but it was one that had to be made. Now, let's just see where the road takes me. Stay tuned.

AC

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