Current Date: Saturday, August 21, 2004 5:30 p.m. (Buenos Aires)

Current Itinerary: Flying back to the US tomorrow...

Note: Hey everybody!! By the time most of you read this on Monday morning, I'll already be back in the USA. This will be the last journal for awhile...except for a "Favorites and Quotes part II" that I'll send out sometime in the next couple weeks after I get back to the US. There will probably be a few updates throughout the fall.

Written Friday, August 20, 2004

Well, here I am...the Friday of my last weekend in BA, and in South America. Rather surreal. Of course there is a sadness that comes with knowing these are the last days, but that is not something I want dwell on now. I'd say it is far better to look back on all I've done and smile, remembering the good times, the friends I've made and all I've experienced. It's something I'm very proud of and I know I'll always look back on fondly. Anyway, I'll try to enjoy these next 36 hours as much as possible before getting on my plane...but it isn't over for me...many more good times lie ahead and the world is a big place that I'm sure I'll see a lot more of.

But for now, I know that this the end of quite a little journey. Not to do an awards show speech here...but I do indeed have many people to thank for making my stay in BA great. A big shout out goes to my friend Anthony/Houston who made my transition into Argentina go smooth as butter. Some of my best times here were those first weeks when we were partying together. Also, a very special thanks to Andrea/BA who has been a true friend and is a wonderful person who did everything she could to help me during my time here. Words aren't enough to show my appreciation. Of course, I can't forget Chris/Denver and Burton/Virginia for being my good friends down here and keeping the sanity...thanks guys.

As a personal message from me to all of you...this has been the defining experience of my life. All that has happened to me over the past year and a half has far exceeded any expectations I could have dreamed. Before leaving, I remember very well how scared I was and how much I questioned myself...but I believed in what I felt inside. I guess what I'm trying to say is, whatever your situation is, whatever it is you dream of doing, go for it. I promise it will be worth whatever sacrifices you have to make. As a great man once said, "...don't take what you merely will accept out of life...decide what you want and go for it! Don´t you owe it to yourself?" Damn right.

Anyway, I have no idea how to close out these journals that have been my way to tell my story for the past year and a half. Many have asked me how I've kept going for so long and where the drive to keep going after my dreams came from. I've always felt that it is all of you who are the special ones who have given me the strength to do all of this. So, to close this out, I turn it over to friends, my support, and all that make me who I am. Here are quotes from e-mails I've received over the past 19 months:

"Good luck, buddy. I'm not really sure why anyone would want to stay
in Texas, anyway."

"Adrian darling...i'm so glad that you came to that realization that
many people haven't reached. Go with your heart and keep safe"

"I love you very much, I will miss you, but I am happy that you are
doing what you love most and that you will fulfill your dreams."

" I am so proud and jealous of you. Again, I have something
else for which to admire you. Your strength. Your self assurance
and confidence. Like (perhaps) everyone you had talked about this told you, I wish I had the strength to do this too."

"I wish you the best on your travels. Please be safe. Enjoy all the world has to offer; enough for all of us. It seems you are one of few brave enough to take life by the horns, and get the most out of it."

"I just heard the other day that you were taking off and travelling the world for a while. One, I'm jealous because I know how hot the women are at Ipanema. Two, best of luck, be safe and enjoy yourself."

"I haven’t forgotten the morning we sat in front of the hostel in
Floripanopolis...good luck to you and great adventures!!!!!!!!"

"me parece delicioso lo que vas a hacer , no sabes la envidia de la
buena que me da y estoy muy contenta por ti, por que vayas detras de ese sueno que todos tenemos y que no nos atrevemos a realizar...te deseo la mejor de las suertes, cuidate muchisimo y un besotote grandote."

"All right! AC...way to go! You have embarked on your quest. Your long wait is now over and its up to you to make the most of it. Live, Love, and discover the things you Truly enjoy. Not many people get that opportunity it!! All of us from Houston are pulling for you and hope to hear of your adventures as they happen."

"The first email I received I thought "Wow he really is out there".
Then the second email came I thought "Damn, I am 39 and I am so jealous of this 20 something year old guy!" I guess we make our own destiny, so for now I will live through you to see and experience the world...The people of Brazil are fortunate to have you visit."

"Anyway, have a beer and a hot brazilian for me :)
(really any nationality is acceptable :)"
-Anonymous married friend

"And the way that you write is so beautiful. That is a real life. I
think you are transmiting the emotion that you really feel being in Brazil to everyone."

"I have got to be the 100th person who has said this but it must be
said...Wow! Congratulations. And I really think you are doing an
incredible thing."

"Wish I were there. You're not missing much back home. But in case
you need reminding...this is what you are missing:

Day in the life at home... 70 degrees, rainy afternoons. E-mail &
phones all day - between the paper pushing and meetings. Traffic to
work and on the way home. News about war, murders. Meet a friend for a drink wishing it were Friday. Go home, go to work, same stuff a different day."

"You are on this Quest not for yourself but for all you share your
travels with, I'm so proud of you! You are so doing God's work! Continue to make us all feel as through were there with you, so many of those who you share your reading with only wish they could be so out going and would be willing to truly do everything it would take to follow their DREAM!"
-My Dad

"all i can say is... slow down on the beers"
-My Mom

"Anyway, i'm really happy for you, adrian, that you
have the opportunity to live out your dream like this. it isn't often that you ever hear of someone doing such a thing, and even more seldom that you know that person. and still more rare to be allowed to share in the fun and excitement with them."
-Tom D/ND

"GOD!! Thank you so much for my Son AdrianII!! He is truly his Fathers Son!! I could not be Prouder. I Pray that other men have half the Joy of watching there Sons Become Men as I Am!!"
-My Dad

"saw the movie dirty dancing this weekend, what a nice change
from war coverage, which you can imagine is on EVERY station ALL THE
TIME! i thought of you with that song "i had the time of my life". see how it all works out for you! people ask me about you all time, at school, the PD. what can i say, he is AC and having a f**king blast."
-Dave O/Houston

-My Mom

"keep up the good work, taking everything you can out of life while
it's there to be had! be cool, be safe, always remember your good
fortunes, and thank you for helping me to see my good fortunes in life. distance is not an obstacle between true friends. thanx for the inspiration."
-Tommy D/ND

"How much better is doing this than stuck in a 9-5 job in the town you grew up in and aren't ever going leave?"
-Katie D/England

"you are still f**king traveling????? gimme a break!"

"my brother,,I am so happy for you,,just to hear you saying that you
have found a great amount of happiness in your life due to this "crazy" trip you decided to do a year ago,,I am not only proud of you but also jelaous,,,keep the good energy,,,"

"i dont now if you remember me, but it really doesnt matter to much.
i just wanted to thank you for writing these journals. it has been fun reading about you in places i have been and compare your experiences with my own."

"My friend, I happy for having you as a friend, I have a lot of things to learn from you. Good to know that you are happy in my country and that you a real Brazilian"

"I gotta say, you are one inspiring individual, A. I would seriously
pay money for the "R" or even racier version of your life...I just
wanted to let you know how much I admire your spirit and courageous
curiosity about life...and jeez, I might be reading between the lines here a little bit, but your inferences of the beautiful girls down there, make me want really question what the hell I'm doing here."

"Wow, I can't believe all of what you have done and seen...keep up your
fantastic attitude and keep soaking up everything you can as you so
amazingly do."
-Chris B/BCM

"is the backpack still holding up? ...or is it lost or destroyed? I'm kinda wistfully thinking of it continuing the journey without
me...and I dig that idea...hope it is still serving you well."
-Doug McLean/Texas

"Sometimes it makes me sad, though, AC being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are just too bright... and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice...but still, the place you live is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend"
-Dave O/BCM

"Então, Adrian, do fundo do meu coração, que você tenha uma vida
maravilhosa onde quer que você esteja. Porque você tem uma virtude
muito importante que é não ter medo de enfrentar a vida, de descobri-la, de procurar ser feliz todos os dias...boa sorte e seja muito feliz!"
-Renata L/SP

"I just wanted to let you know that (we) both say Hi, both Love reading your Journal entries, and both love that you have Balls Bigger than a Hippo's Balls to travel the freakin continent of South America as you are! You are my idol! You live freakin large. I live vicariously through you, my friend!"
-Steph N/ND

"i don´t know how i would personally think today about americans in
general if i would not have met you. it helped me a lot."

"continue to keep it real within you. no one can "judge" your life,
but you and God. at the end of the day, you live with your choices! I'm glad you are enjoying life and the riches it has to offer...not monetarily, but having a peace of mind and exploring your hearts desires...can't be're blessed to have had these life experiences. thanks for sharing them ;-)"

" Sitting here in my cubicle staring at my computer, reading about your travels, sure makes me wonder why the heck I'm not doing something fun!!"

"Sounds like you're truly in a great state of mind and being...congrats. You are truly enjoying your trip the way it was ment to be enjoyed...and it doesn't sound like it is a trip anymore...but also a life and a lifestyle...don't decide to come back for any reason other than it is what you want to do...otherwise...stay there or whereever the wind takes
you. Remember...the great explorers of the world and the great men who "made a name for themselves" did not do so by sitting comfortably in their hometowns and wondering about new lands and new conquests....they got off their butts and put their excuses to rest and simply went out and just plain did it (insert NIKE swoosh here)...and you are now in that same situation. Take care my friend...truly enjoying reading from your continued exploits"
-Doug Mclean/Texas


Thanks everybody...see you when the adventure continues.



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