Around the World wrap up.
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November 27th, 2008 – by: jlchatham
Of course, I can't really wrap it all up. I'm sure I'll still be assimilating this trip for many more years to come. Three continents and fifteen countries, cultures and ways of life so different from each other that they can hardly be described.
It's all there, twirling around in my head. Memories impossible to relate to others that haven't experienced it themselves; sights too profound to describe in words. But even so, what sticks out the most?
Maybe it was my jaunt through the streets of Southern Nepal , a place where I didn't have to dodge cars or SUVs, but elephants and bicycles and horse-drawn carriages.
Maybe it was the train ride into Delhi at dawn on my last day in India, seeing tens of thousands of pitiable souls, many of them children, squatting on the tracks.
Or maybe it was the absurd wealth and affluence of Dubai, where not even the sky is the limit, offering itself as a direct contrast to the poverty of India.
Petra in Jordan is by far the biggest highlight of the trip, made that much more special because I shared it with Jiyoung. A memory I'll always cherish.
I'll always remember walking around the pyramids, mystified at their creation, their size, their age. A practical joke on time, it seems.
From Turkey and its magnificent mosques, through Eastern Europe with its imposing cathedrals and neo gothic buildings and finally to Vienna, a jewel in the crown of Europe for centuries; they've all left their impressions in one way or another.
It's all there, tucked away inside my mind as I struggle to digest it all. Trying to figure out what I learned through all this, trying to determine if it's changed me in any way. The impressions are there, the reflections will take more time. The world seems a lot smaller now, humanity more fragile, more vulnerable. America isn't the world, the world isn't America. There's quite a bit beyond those two shining seas, quite a lot to see and experience, and quite a bit more to learn. I hope this was a personal step towards a greater recognition of that. I think it was and so I think this trip has been a success. And I look forward to the next one.
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