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August 09, 2005

The End of the Road

Now that I'm settled in LA, with a car and an apartment and work lined up, it seems like an appropriate time for my last travelblog entry. It's hard to sum up a trip like this, to encapsulate an experience of a lifetime in a few short lines. The question I've been asked the most--"What was your favorite place?"--is impossible to answer. There were things I loved about most of the places I went. Overall, I'd say I liked South America more than India and SE Asia. I enjoyed traveling alone but don't feel a burning need to do it again. I'm so glad I took this trip, but don't think there will be another one like it for a long time, if ever. But this trip showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to. And that even though it's so easy to get sucked right back in to believing all the messages telling us that we're all stuck in our unhappy lives without any choices, and buying into what American society tells me is the right way to live...I'm going to resist that with my whole being. I'm going to live life on my own terms. And that's something I hope every one I know or who has read this will strive for in their own way.

It's pretty strange that my last entry was about my friend Trevor's blog. I never expected that Trevor had just posted his last blog entry--not just of his trip, but of his life. On July 24, I got an email from his mother (who copied all the recipients from Trevor's last email) saying that he was missing in Nepal--he had gone out for a hike near one of the Everest base camps and hadn't been seen in two days. They spent 2 1/2 weeks searching for him, using every resource available--sherpas, psychics, expert climbers, local radio broadcasts, helicopters--with no success. He was supposed to come home on August 1st. Instead, he isn't coming home at all. I feel so lucky to have met Trevor on the road. I'm thankful for our time together and I'll never forget his energy, his enthusiasm for travel and new experiences, his sharing his iPod with me on the bus to Luang Prabang, his obsession with getting a picture just right, our swapping numbers in Lao and English with the boys in Nong Khiaw, our mutual excitement about finding decent Mexican food in Chiang Mai, and his crazy impressions of Stewie from The Family Guy. Today, Trevor's family concluded their latest update thus: "Trevor died on top of the world in his mountains with his camera. We are grieving, no doubt, but there is peace that comes from knowing that he was in his element living one of the greatest times of his life."

Trevor's last email signed off with "Here's to living dreams!" I hope his life and death can inspire others to live their dreams, too.

Here's me and Trevor in front of our bungalows in Nong Khiaw, Laos:

Posted by Amy on August 9, 2005 09:37 AM
Category: Post-Trip Thoughts

Wow, welcome home home! Thanks for your blog over the past many months, I've enjoyed going around the world with you.

The good news is that you've done such a special trip that has changed your life and will change your life forever. It was so different and unique that no one really even understands it or can relate, even if they've done such a trip. It's yours to keep, to cherish, to remember when times aren't as good.

The bad news is the same news. ;-)

By the way, my favorite answer to "Where was your favorite place?" is the semi-cheesy, semi-spiritual, "Wherever I am right now." Even more meaningful after hearing about Trevor's last place.

Best regards,

- Bradley

Posted by: Bradley Charbonneau on August 9, 2005 11:51 AM
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