Your mother may have sent you a meek little email asking that question, wondering where her daughter had gone. You did practically blink out of existence over the last two months–online, anyway. It’s just that you found other things to do, more interesting ways to occupy your time. You are no longer alone on the road, trying to kill hours and hours by yourself. At times when you ARE all alone (particularly on the road), your internet usage skyrockets. It is BORING killing hours and hours by yourself. Good old internet. But turn off the boredom, and the computer turns off with it.
You wonder if your readers now are asking themselves whether they spend as much time on the net as they do simply out of boredom.
No offense, folks. But the internet is like bad TV. If you find yourselves pouring hours and hours every day into something with a monitor–particularly something that poorly simulates human interaction and denies you time outdoors in the sunlight, denies you the opportunity to sweat and move, denies you the exercise of your human opposable thumb… get your butts out of your chairs and stop reading this blog. Stop facebooking. Stop emailing. Stop instant messaging. Stop youtubing, twittering, flickering, and damaging your eyes in the process. It’s summer.
If your readers are still reading, FINE. But just so they know, after this post, you guarantee nothing. Hitting the road again on July 20th, and you have NO PLAN. Even less of a “plan” than you had the last time you went to the continent. This time, your best friend is with you.
You’ll get everyone up to speed here for a moment. First, after escaping the Tatry mountains in Slovakia and sneaking into a dorm in Bratislava (three weeks into your journey) you were overcome with intense feelings of homesickness (the first of your life). Wow. Really. WOW. Homesick. You panicked, nearly bought a next-day flight back to Ireland, but decided not to be a pussy and booked your ticket two weeks from that date, just to ensure you would have travelled for five full weeks. The things you experienced after that were worth it. Good decision. You met some incredible people (incredibly fun, and incredibly sad).
After you returned to the Irish farm, you were thrilled by the warm welcome, happy to see everyone again, and dove right back to work and training. The summer brought a three-day stint of sensational weather, during which the family did fuckall. BBQ’d for three days, drank, ate, and regretted nothing. You built a new pig pen, a pig house, garden beds, and started working away at a tower–no, a MOUNTAIN–of scrap wood (8 truckloads?). Enough to keep you busy.
You met new people, like Emily and Patrick, who identified themselves as a Gender Queer couple. A load of shit according to Marlene, but you gave them their queer space, tried not to step on Emily’s (a bit butch) toes, and valiantly ignored the bubbling, gushing asinine comments from Patrick. Then, of course, arrived a girl, who in her first week had the house’s attention wrapped around her apparently 6-year-long 12-16-times-daily rituals of bulimia; who claimed that over-prescription of Ritalin made her muscles deteriorate; who exhibited no respect for community spaces and private property; who may or may not have been medicated with anti-psychotics; who camped out in the back yard for four days in the rain, beating a drum; who racked up hundreds of euros in text messaging fees to Peru… the list goes on. Forget about it. Even after she ate the top layer off your trifle, you are doing your best to ignore her.
There were parties, drugs, alcohol, dancing, and positive flooding sessions to keep you busy. There were the numbers Urban Exploring adventures you and Neil had, and the pictures you began to edit and upload. There were the books on philosophy and quantum physics you started reading, there were the weeks-long debates on innate human rights, labels, taboo being stronger than law, and norms being stronger than taboo… there was the 1,000 piece puzzle of Bali Dancer, the Dutch language lessons, the trips to the pub, the birthday parties, the workouts, the gains and losses. There was the reunion with Alexis, who is with you now in Ireland. The summer solstice sweat lodge you did together. The ups and downs, emotional highs and lows, and the planning. The reunion with Jehan, Xtine, and Moser from YWC, and the trip to Dublin, Belfast, Derry, the Giant’s Causeway, etc. you had with them. And FINALLY, there was the other night, when you booked your tickets to Belgium. You and Alexis bought a cooker and a two-man tent (the Seaside Palace), the Spanish language book, and a few novels to keep you busy for when you are camping god-knows-where with a bunch of hippies somewhere in Granada.
Summer, friends. Get off the computer.