Wednesday, May 23, 2012

¡Vamos a la Playa!

I went to the Palma beach today with Evan, Kayla and one of her friends who is visiting. The weather was a bit windy but nice and hot enough to lay out and soak up some sun. The water is still pretty cold and I only got in up to my butt.

I can't believe that my family arrives in six days and I only have five more days left of work! Everything is going so fast! Jordan is leaving this Saturday too.

Tomorrow Evan and I are going to go visit one of the last farms on my list for my sustainable agriculture project and then grab some lunch with Mary, Jessica, and Jordan at a delicious organic, vegetarian restaurant in Inca.

I feel like I am slowly accepting the fact that I am going back to California and Humboldt and starting to warm up to the idea a bit more. I think that actually seeing my family in person is going to make me more excited about going back.

My brother is going to be moving to Humboldt sooner than he originally thought and will probably be there by the time I move over. Looks like we can both look for jobs together. Oh boy. I'm definitely going to need to after I buy contacts, get my glasses prescription fixed, and get a checkup...all with no dental insurance.

It is so weird too that pretty soon Evan and I will have been married for a whole year. It went by so fast. Pretty soon we will have been together for five years. I will be a couple weeks away from graduating college when we have our five year anniversary! So many things to celebrate!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cabin Porn

I have been looking at this website way too much called Cabin Porn. It has really nice pictures of a variety of different kinds of cabins from all over the world. It makes me want a cabin in the woods where I could have a big, organic garden and fall asleep to the sounds of mountain wildlife. Falling asleep to the sounds of cars and people going down the street isn't really cutting it right now. I want a little cabin where I can paint and read books undisturbed. And buy old, quality, solid wood furniture from thrift and antique stores that no one wants and refinish them.

Why do I want so many things??? Too many things are complicating my life!!! One second I want to travel and live all over the world and the next I just want my own little permanent space to develop and to call my own and live in. It is pretty hard to do both. And generally requires lots of dinero.

It is very tempting and tantalizingly possible to just build our own little cabin up on Spyrock on his parents property and do all of the above things. Evan could partner with his dad in his real estate business and I could grow all of our food.

The only problem is that I would miss out on all of the intellectual stimulation that studying and working as a botanist has to offer. AND there is not much of a social out in the middle of nowhere and that is something that I really enjoy. Not that there is anything wrong with scraping out a living so one can live somewhere they want to live, but it doesn't really leave much extra cash or time to travel. And if one leaves the real world to live off the grid, it just makes it that much harder to go back if one decides living the pioneer lifestyle isn't all it is cracked up to be.

So many things to think about...

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Year

This probably seems like a weird thing to post about but I am very excited about it! I am currently finishing up my period that marks the one year anniversary of getting my IUD inserted! Hooray! AND this was the best period yet! No cramps AT ALL and it was very short.

I love my IUD, getting it inserted was one of the best things I ever did. One whole year of no extra hormones from the pill and one whole year of no condoms! Yay!

Liverpool and Dublin

The morning we drove from Rosyth to Liverpool Josephine loaded us up with tons of food and then her and John hopped in their car to lead us to the correct highway. I was so sad to say goodbye to them.

It snowed a little bit on our drive to Liverpool while we were still in Scotland, which was a little exciting but at that point Evan was very used to driving on the wrong side of the road so we were fine. The further south we got the more populated and drab the countryside became. I was totally missing the highlands and the "hairy coos". I forgot to mention in my last post about the "hairy coos" of hairy cows in normal speech. They are Scottish cows that are an orange color and have extremely long hair that covers their eyes and they are absolutely adorable! Every time Evan or I would see them we would shout out "hairy coos!". Got to love the Scottish accent.

The best part of the drive (and really the whole reason I wanted to drive from Scottland to Liverpool) was when we stopped in the adorable and beautiful small town of Thirsk, where the famous James Herriot lived and worked. James Herriot is one of my favorite authors, who was veterinarian and wrote stories about his experiences. I have read his books so many times and will continue to re-read them. His house and practice have been turned into a charming museum about his life and about the history of veterinary practice in general. It was great to see the green rolling hills that he always described in his books. Though, I must say, the rollings hills and highlands of Scotland were way better.

We made it to Liverpool around 7 that evening and dropped off the car at the John Lennon airport and hopped on the bus to Liverpool. Our hostel was really nice and Evan and I were excited because we booked a room for 2 people and there was a single double bed!!! Say what?! We have been so used to sleeping on 2 twin beds pushed together, this was quite a nice treat. The breakfast was also quite good with delicious coffee.

We only had one full day in Liverpool because the next morning our flight to Dublin left at 8 am. So we walked around the city, took the tourist bus, and went to the Beatles museum. The museum was very nice but a little too done up for me. Liverpool was a nice city but it didn't have very many trees or green spaces so I was kinda depressed by it. Everything was centered around the Beatles, which is why I wanted to go there but it was a little much.

So our flight to Dublin left stupid early in the morning (as Evan would say) and we felt pretty zonked when we got into the Dublin airport and bought some over priced coffee there. We also rented a car there so we could go hiking in the Wicklow Mountains just south of Dublin. Here is where the problems started. Whenever we rent a car Evan always puts it on his credit card that covers the insurance but of course it doesn't cover it in Ireland, Italy and Jamaica, which we find out at the airport and then have to pay 50 euros A DAY for insurance. Joder. Then we waited for 20 minutes for a shuttle car that never came to pick us up to take us to the rental car area. We had to hop in one for a different rental car provider. We got on the freeway just fine but when it came to finding the right exit the map and the roadsigns were completely different. AND if you want to exit to right, thus crossing over the freeway, they just spit you back out on the freeway going the opposite direction!! When we finally found an exit that seemed like it would take us in the right direction we ended up just driving through the countryside having no idea where we were headed because all the little towns we found weren't on the map! So we stopped at the first gas station we found and asked for directions for somewhere to go hiking. We got lost with those directions too and just started following signs for some waterfall thing. We got directed to a hiking area that was basically just a network of logging roads in a plantation of all the same kind of trees. After getting lots and asking for directions a few more times we reached a cool mountain that we climbed. There were a bunch of cute shaggy ponies hanging out on the mountain that we got some good pictures of. There was a great view of Dublin from the top of the mountain. The Irish countryside was beautiful and pretty similar to Scotland. We stayed at a super cute B and B that night in a cute tiny town. We had some pizza and cider for dinner and watched TV. It was very relaxing. I have decided that when Evan and I retire we are going to turn Evan's parents house into a bed and breakfast and that will be our income.

We dropped the car off at the Dublin airport and made our way into Dublin. Dublin was a big, beautiful city and full of life. It is funny because there were way more Mexican restaurants in the UK and Ireland than in Spain....kinda weird. Our hostel was really cool and we stayed in a 4 bed room. Over the course of the 2 nights we were there we stayed with a South African man, a French girl, and a guy from Taiwan. There were lots of Spanish tourists at our hostel and throughout Dublin as well. That first day we went to the Guiness House and Evan was overjoyed. We had had a huge traditional Irish breakfast with many kinds of sausage so we didn't eat lunch so the 2 free Guiness we had at the brewery hit kinda hard. We wandered around the city and checked out the sights before getting dinner and listening to some live music in the Temple Bar area. The whole time we were in the UK and Ireland I was drinking delicious cider. I definitely miss that here.

The next day we went on a free walking tour of the city and had a hilarious guide that told us all kinds of great history tidbits. We wanted to do the tour bus there as well but it was wayyy too expensive and the walking tour showed and told us so much. We didn't really go into any cathedrals or museums because they were expensive and we were kinda cathedral-ed out. I have been for a while actually. We spent a lot of time in this really cool bar called Against the Grain that had really good food and many different kinds of beer and cider. We saw lots of beer from Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, CA which was pretty cool. I went to a free art museum while Evan visited the Jameson Distillery to taste more whiskey. That night we broke down and got amazing burritos with delicious cheese at a burrito place. It was heaven.

I must say, it is very true that the Irish love to drink. We saw so many stag and hen parties aka bachelor and bachelorette parties that were dressed up in costume. We saw a herd of Robins like in Batman and Robin. So yes, a herd of Robins and one Batman cruising from bar to bar. The first night we were there we saw quite possibly the funniest thing ever. There was a guy in a princess dress complete with large fake breasts being supported by his two friends as they half carried him down the street. He was completely wasted. I assume he had a wig at some point but that was definitely gone. Unfortunately Evan only got a picture of him from behind.

Overall, it was a very successful trip. I really, really want to go back to Scotland. It was my favorite by far. I WILL go back someday soon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


For my spring break Evan and I decided to go to the UK and Ireland. Both Evan and I have family in Scotland. My mom's cousins Josephine and John live near the Edinburgh area. Evan's uncle Gabe, who is a professional fiddler, lives on the other side of the country in a tiny fishing village, called Arisaig. I had skype called Josephine a few times to find out a little more about them and tell them our plans of visiting Scotland. They sounded really cool on the phone but I was very nervous about meeting them in person.

Our flight was delayed an hour the night we flew into Edinburgh and I was so worried because Josephine and her husband, John, were picking us up from the airport. There seems to be a lot of Johns in my family for some reason. They offered for us to stay with them AND they told me that they were early risers so I was feeling really bad that our flight was getting in at 9 instead of 8 pm. Luckily, it was easy to find them in the airport and we got along instantly. They are such nice, warm people. I had bought a bottle of Mallorcan white wine as a present but was really nervous because I didn't know if they drank alcohol or not. I figured so because they are part of my family but I didn't want to offend. O

Of course, as soon as we get into the house, John asks us if we want a glass of wine, "red or white?" and I go for white and Evan goes for red. It is so funny because Josephine drinks white wine just like me and my mom and dad. And we stayed up until 2 in the morning talking!!! I couldn't believe it! They were keeping us up! John had taken a couple days of work to spend time with us (so nice) and we went into Edinburgh the next day. We took the train in and met Shirley, John and Josephine's daughter, and their grandson, Jamie, who is 10. Jamie is their son, Derek's son. Shirley is so funny and Jamie is a really great kid. We had a great time.

We went and visited the Edinburgh Castle and took the tourist bus around the city. Josephine packed us a lunch of sandwiches and chips to eat up on the castle. The weather was drizzly and overcast as is the speciality of Scotland. I love Edinburgh, it is such a beautiful city with lots of life. I would love to go back and explore it further. I was also very surprised with how much I enjoyed taking the tourist bus, you get to see so much more of the city and hear a little bit of the history, than you would just walking around. We got dinner in Edinburgh and then headed back to John and Josephine's to hang out and talk some more. Josephine's brother, John, and his wife, Anna, come over for a drink and a chat. They were both very nice and it was really interesting talking to John because at one point he was very into working on the family tree. He said that us visiting made him very excited to start working on it again. They were only able to stay for a little while because Anna had family in town that they had to attaend to. I really want to go back to Scotland one more time before we head back to the States just to spend more time with the family but I don't think that is an option because of money and time :(

The next day we drove out to St. Andrews, the home of all the famous golf courses and tournaments. The Scottish countryside is absolutely gorgeous, with its rolling hills and "stain dikes", which means stone walls in Gaelic. There were so many sheep and cattle roaming the hillsides. We walked around the town of St. Andrews and enjoyed some steak pies and onion bridies. We also visited the beautiful ruins of a cathedral and a cemetery. Then we headed back to Rosyth (where John and Josephine live) for a dinner of Chinese food, where we met Derek and his wife Leanne, and their daughter Erin, who is 5. I showed everybody the album of pictures I put together of my parents, Alex and all the family in So-Cal. After dinner we set up Skype on Josephine's iPad and were able to Skype with my parents and Alex. It was a very exciting and emotional moment for Josephine and my mom to talk and see each other for the first time. Josephine had showed me a great album of photos of her mom, Elda and my nono, and their other brother Aldo, who is still alive and lives in Australia. I saw the wedding photo of my nona and nono, and many photos of my mom and my uncle, Sandro as kids that my nona and nono had sent to Elda. I guess Elda and my nona were best friends growing up in Italy and that is how my nona and nono met.

The next morning John and Josephine took us to the airport to pick up our rental car to start our cross-country journey. I was really bummed because this was Easter day and we were missing Jamie's soccer game and the kids Easter egg hunt. Evan had, of course, sent a last minute email to his uncle Gabe a couple days ago and he told us he was doing a gig in the town next to his on Easter. We didn't hear back from in time to know which bar the gig was in but at least we knew the town. Evan and John researched our driving route the night before and John had been in Malaig before (where Gabe's gig was at) so we felt pretty good about getting over there and being able to find him. John and Josephine were so great, they led us to the right highway and sent us on our way. I forgot to say to that they paid for everything for us the entire time we were with them! We didn't know what to do, every time we tried to pay for something they wouldn't let us! We were planning on staying the night in Inverness in the north of the country and then our last night would be back at their house before we left the country. I was sad to go so soon because we had such a great time with them. It was amazing how quickly we all got comfortable. Shirley said it best when we were skyping with my parents, "it feels like we have known them for ages!" and I couldn't agree more.

Anyways driving through the Scottish highlands were absolutely amazing! So many different microclimates to see! It felt like we were pulling over every five minutes so Evan could get out and take pictures and I could scamper around and look at plants and lichens. And I was so excited to see a real live bog! Scotland is the perfect environment for lichens and I saw such a huge diversity that I have been looking into masters programs in Scotland.

We got to Malaig around 4 in the afternoon and wandered the tiny town for a bit asking about where Gabe McVarish was playing. We found his band on the second try. It was great watching him and his band play Scottish fiddle music. It felt so authentic because we were in a bar in a tiny fishing village on Easter day with all the locals watching some great music. There were even some people dancing!

Gabe is only 37 but has lived in Scotland for the last 20 years. He came over originally to do a fiddling apprenticeship and never left. He has 2 kids that we didn't get to meet that are 11 and 13. His kids are from his first marriage and they live with their mom who is from Finland. He looked like he was 30 and one of Evan's cousins. We had seen some pictures of him before but he looked a lot like Evan and Evan's mom so that was very helpful. We ended up staying the night at his house and stayed up talking and drinking beer. He is a really cool guy and I'm sad we only got to talk with him for a night. He had to leave early the next morning to go teach fiddle lessons to kids on the island of Aig that we could see from his town. Next we come it will be better planned so we can spend more time together. He was very generous and offered to let us stay at his place but we were planning on going to Liverpool the next day so it was better that we left with him. Gabe has a mix of an American accent and a Scottish accent, but if I hadn't know he was American I would have thought he was Scottish. That far north in Scotland, all of the road signs were in English and in Gaelic. Gabes said he knows some Gaelic because he has taken classes and his kids speak Gaelic because they go to an all Gaelic school. I really wanted to spend more time with him too because I want to hear more about his dad, Evan's grandpa, who died a few years back. Evan's mom doesn't really talk about him because he left her mom when she was 5 or 6. He must have been something though because he has like 9 or 10 kids. Gabe I think was his youngest kid.

After we left Arisaig, we traveled up to Inverness, where we stopped for lunch. Inverness was ok but not the coolest place. On our way to Inverness we drove alongside Loch Ness, which was very cool for me because I was really into Nessie when I was a kid. It was very touristy there though so we decided not to check out the museum.

Then we went to the Dalwhinney whiskey distillery for a tour. I don't like whiskey but Evan loves it. The tour was very interesting and they gave us chocolate with the whiskey tasting so I was happy. We also got this cool "passport" to the other Scottish single malt distilleries that gives us free tours and tastings there. Now we really need to go back to fill out our passport! We bought a bottle of whiskey for Jo and John to thank them for their gracious hospitality.

That night Jo made us a very Scottish dinner that was amazing! Mince and tatties! So basically mashed potatoes with minced steak in a delicious gravy sauce with cooked carrots. We also had some haggis, which I actually really liked, and really good pork sausages. So much meat in Scotland!

I really want to go to Australia now and meet my family that lives there. Aldo, my nono's brother is the last sibling still alive and it would be great to meet him. Josephine was telling me that when they went to Australia they felt like they had known them forever and it was very hard to leave. That is how I felt in Scotland and it would be great to experience the same thing over there.

I forgot to mention how every time we departed from John and Jo's (when we went to Arisaig and then when we left to Liverpool), Jo packed us a huge picnic lunch and snacks. Sandwiches, chips, hard-boiled eggs, fruit (because I told her I love fruit), chocolate for Easter, granola bars, etc. I swear they cleaned out the cabinets for us! It felt so good to be "home" there and be mothered a bit. I know my family would get along so well with them. It would be great if we could make a family trip to Scotland at some point!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


So Jordan and I went on a four day, four night trip to Lisbon, Portugal and it was AMAZING!!! I absolutely adore Portugal. I don't understand why more people don't go there! We stayed at a hostel called Home and it really was like home because it is run by a Portugese family and the mom (Mamma) makes dinner every night that you can have for 9 euros. It is really a deal because it is a 3 course meal that includes dessert and as much sangria, port wine, moscatel and ginjinha as you can drink. The sangria was delicious but all the other things are wayyy too sweet. The food was absolutely delicious and seemed to be very authentic. 

All the Portugese people that we met and talked to spoke amazing English and many of them spoke really good Spanish as well. I don't know what the English teaching situation is like in Portugal but whatever it is they are doing a good job. I might have to start looking into English teaching programs there....I was really excited because I was able to read and understand spoken Portugese quite well. One year there and I'm sure I could pick it up quite easily. 

We arrived in the evening and got to our hostel pretty smoothly via bus. The weather was rainy on and off for our entire stay there so I was never without my rain jacket. It was kinda a bummer but everything else was great so it didn't get us too down. That night we got dinner out and just walked around Lisbon for a while exploring. 

The next day we did a 2 and half hour walking tour with a very good looking guide. There were a lot of Americans and Canadians staying at our hostel so the tour was in English. There are so many beautiful old and very colorful buildings in Lisbon. All the plazas and sidewalks are beautifully cobblestoned like in one of the pictures below. After the tour we took the tram to Belém where we visited a free art museum, where we saw a Picasso and a piece of art from Dali. Then we headed to the Tower of Belém, which over looks the river and you get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Jesus statue like looks like the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. It is not actually called the Golden Gate Bridge but I will call it that because it looks almost exactly the same. We also sampled the delicious and famous Pasteís de Belém, which are like little toasted custardy cheesecakes? My powers of description are not up to snuff because they were to die for. That night we did a crappy pub crawl that the hostel recommended. It only took us to crappy clubs that we were not nearly drunk enough to enjoy. They also gave you hardly any alcohol in the included drinks with the pub crawl. 

I met a really cool Canadian girl who is married to one of the guys that worked at our hostel. It was really great talking to her because we had a lot in common. She married her husband when she was 23 because her visa was almost up and they wanted to be together. They met during school in the UK. They got rings after they got married and she didn't take his last name. They had lived in Brasil and the UK together and just decided that they couldn't live without each other. She says it still feels weird to be married and it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one that thinks that. We talked about how it sucks when people look at you weird when you say your age and that your married. Or ask you why you are married. She is turning 27, thus getting to a more "acceptable" married age. Sometimes I wish I was older just so people wouldn't look at me strangely. Oh well, who cares what other people think!

I really liked our hostel but we stayed in a 8 bed room so we didn't really get much sleep because people would come and go at all hours of the night and morning. It wasn't really too bad, we just made sure to have a couple cups of coffee with the free breakfast in the morning. 

The next day we went to Jorge's Castle in Lisbon and wandered around that side of town. Our whole trip we never really ate lunch, Jordan and I would split a couple amazing pastries every 3 to 4 hours and have some fruit and almonds. Not very healthy but TOTALLY worth it because the pastries in Lisbon are the best I have ever tasted. I really don't want to go back to the donuts and cake in the US. We went to the famous flea market near the castle and got to check out all sorts of cool antiques and local crafts. Too bad most of the stuff I wanted to buy was way too big to fit in my backpack. That night was the second night we had Mamma's delicious dinner and we had a good time drinking and eating with all the people in the hostel at the dinner. There was a group of hilarious Italians that sat next to us and sang and played some songs on the guitar. 

There were a lot of people there as well who were also auxiliares in my program. Because of the break this weekend for the international day of labor many people had decided to go to Portugal because it is quite cheap. I spent 306 euros on everything; flight, food, lodging, souvenirs, etc. 

On Sunday we went to the town of Sintra, which has the Castle of Pena and the Moorish Castle. The town was absolutely adorable and filled with art. All of Portugal that we saw had tons of art and I love that. The town was very colorful and surprisingly lush. It reminded me of Humboldt with all the moss and ferns. We were very lucky there because the weather was beautiful! It was sunny the entire time! It was quite a hike up to the castle but it was totally worth it. It was beautiful and the gardens surrounding it were unforgettable. We even saw redwoods in the gardens! So many species of trees and shrubs from around the world. We didn't go to the Moorish Castle because the Castle of Pena was expensive but we did get an amazing view of it from Pena. That night we went out with one of the girls from our hostel named Lisa to listen to some fado music. It is Portugese guitar music that is played on a special Portugese guitar and it very beautiful. It is reminiscent of flamenco, but with more variety and less dramatic probably because there is no dancing. I finally got to drink an over priced capirinha that I split with Jordan. I thought they were supposed to be cheap in Portugal?! 

The next day we were super tired and sore from our day in Sintra so we just shopped in the few hours we had before we had to fly back to Palma. 

Jordan and I drinking some way too sweet ginjinha that is made from wild, sour cherries. The best part was eating one of the sour cherries that we got in the shot. 

Cool mix of old and semi-destroyed and new

All the sidewalks and plazas looked like this

Super cool monument in Belém

Tower of Belém

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This day has changed

Today is a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. I wanted to try and get many things done. It took me 45 minutes to encounter a open store to buy some food because today is Día del Trabajador aka Labor Day here in Spain and the rest of Europe. I slept a ton last night to help catch up from my lack of sleep during our trip in Lisbon.

Then I went to open my window and looked down at the street and saw a large crowd. There was an ambulance and some police cars. At first I thought there was some kind of protest but then through the branches of the tree outside my window I saw the feet of cyclist laying on the ground with a group of paramedics and police officers surrounding him. His body jolted right at that moment as they defibrillated him. I watched them alternate CPR and defibrillation three times. After they defibrillated him the second time I knew it was over. He was an older guy, my dad's age or older. His cycling buddy seemed to be holding it together pretty well until they finally pronounced him dead and put a sheet over his body. His friend was still wearing his helmut and Túnel cycling jersey. I assume he was hit by a car because his bike was bent and there was a group of three women close by who were in tears and looking very shaken. I went and sat out on the balcony to watch. I felt terrible about myself just watching like it was a soap opera or something but I just couldn't leave until there was some kind of outcome. And of course I was thinking about my dad who goes cycling all the time and is around that age. My mind goes back to the day I found out that Jim Kennedey died. And Luke Jensen. Death happens constantly and you read about it all the time in the news and hear about it from friends and you experience it yourself. And right now Evan is all the way in China and the only way I can contact him is by email. I feel so alone at times like these. This is the first person I have ever seen die. I don't know what this says about me but the first thing I think about is in Harry Potter how people that have seen death can see the weird flying horse-dragon things. I feel much better now that I ate a box of stale campurrianas (cookies) and some milk. Sad how much food can affect my mood.

I get to see my family in 28 days and I am getting so excited. I have not felt homesick once this entire time and I rarely do when I am away. Times like these though, make me want some sort of contact with my family. 10 days until Evan is home. I feel like I am such a weird place right now.

I got a reality check last night. I had been talking with some people on my trip in Lisbon about trying to get dual citizenship in Italy. One girl that I talked to mentioned how the States can take away your citizenship if you apply for citizenship in another country. Well, I learned that is true. I should have known it was too good to be true. I think that Evan and I could get Italian citizenship but then we would lose our US citizenship and that is definitely something I don't want to lose. I had really high hopes of getting Italian citizenship and then going to get my masters at the University of Edinburgh. And then Evan could just get a job because he would be a citizen of the EU and wouldn't have to worry about a work visa. I would really love an opportunity to live there and get to know my family there a little better and Evan's uncle Gabe too. It is so expensive, we would have to save for years for just one of us to go. It is hard feeling such strong connections to places when you travel there. I absolutely loved Lisbon and was amazed at how much Portugese I could read and understand because it is so similar to Spanish. I feel like I would be missing an opportunity if I didn't try to learn that language, the same way I feel about Italian.

I wish I had more of a calling to be an English teacher because that really is the ticket to travel and live in different countries. Botany is my true calling and dual citizenship would have opened up the doors for me to live in different countries (in the EU at least) and do what I love. Maybe this will make my decisions easier. I am worried about going back to the States. I know I am going to experience some pretty bad reverse culture shock. Things are going to be too easy there and I feel like I'm going to rot. I feel like I am going to be so bored. I am so damn spoiled. My life has been so good. It is true that the more you have the more you want. I want too many things and I have too many interests. As everyone always says, if I just had enough money than I could do everything. But then that would just raise the bar and then there would be many more unattainable things. The future is unclear and I love and hate that because I know I will have many opportunities ahead of me if I work hard.

I think this is how Evan must feel a lot of the time because he doesn't really have a true calling yet. He is so smart and has many interests and things he is good at but he doesn't know what he wants to do. I really want him to get home and be able to finish working on his car because I think that will help him to organize himself and his priorities.