All Good Things

Hey, look! I’m back in Boston. :-) Actually I’ve been back for awhile now, but have been distressingly negligent about finishing up this blog. So here we go.

Coming home after almost six months of travel sounded scarier than it turned out to be. I think the biggest thing that made it easy was that I wanted to come home, it wasn’t out of necessity. I loved traveling, I’ll always enjoy traveling, but I was ready to take a break. The thought of sleeping in a familiar and consistent place, having home cooked meals, doing laundry in a machine! that didn’t require coins! were all things I was quite ready for. But there were moments where I woke up and thought “Okay, time to book another flight!”

It helped that I didn’t just flop on the couch and watch television. I took a short trip out to San Francisco, where my brother and sister-in-law shamelessly tried to bribe me into moving out there (I could have had a Vitamix!). For various reasons ($!) I decided not to do that. Then in July, we said a final sad farewell to my grandma M, who passed away at the age of 97. I will be forever grateful that I had returned, was able to tell her all about my adventures, and share some of my favorite memories with her. She was an eager follower of this blog and loved that I took the trip. So thank you, M, for being my supporter.

The other big news in my family is that in September, my niece Maya Emmy Chotin was born! I’ve been out to visit her, and she’s pretty darn cute. I’m already laying the groundwork to be her favorite uncle. I’m also writing down embarassing stories about her father to tell at some later date. Muaahaahaaaa.

Anyway, I returned to Cambridge, found a new apartment, retrieved my cat Whiskey (the other cat is in a new forever home, as two cats was problematic for me and them), and have settled back in. And I started a new job that I’m very excited about! I’m actually back at MIT, working for the MITx program in the Office of Digital Learning. Technology and education, two of my favorite things :-).

So life continues, with some relative return to normalcy. I can’t honestly say I had any epiphanies, or came to any new conclusions about the meaning of life or anything. What I can say is that everywhere I went, I met interesting, helpful, friendly people, both locals and other travelers. In some sense, I had my faith in humanity renewed. Yes, there are some crappy people out there. But just about everyone I met, no matter what country we were in or how well we spoke each others language*, was kind to me. That’s something that the television news doesn’t tend to show.

*If I take one practical lesson away from this trip, it’s that I should be better with languages. I felt very bad sometimes that I couldn’t even figure out how to say ‘thank you’ in the local tongue.

I think almost every day about my adventure. The friends I made. The sights I saw. The food I ate. I think about the fact that I have been to six of the seven continents (I’ll get to Africa one day I promise). I watched the sun rise over the Mekong River and set over the Danube (admittedly not on the same day). I’ve hiked in the Red Centre of Australia, and swum over the Great Barrier Reef. I saw the most extraordinarily beautiful scenery in New Zealand, and made friends on three different continents from all over the world. I learned how to cook some amazing and delicious food. I had the most amazing, extraordinary, wonderful adventure of my life so far, and I feel like I’m just getting started.

Thanks for sharing in my adventure!
David Chotin

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